4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell is an amazing fictional Novel written by the award-winning author William H. Coles. This book, which is separated into two parts, speaks of the rise and fall of our main character, Hiram McDowell, who was a very well-known, celebrated, Surgeon of his time, but unfortunately his own family and very dear friends didn't think of him as such. This book has quite a large number of characters and they all have their own spotlights through each and every chapter, with such great illumunation, that readers will not be able to pass them by without taking note of them. With that said, I think we are now ready to take on this wild and adventurous ride towards the life story of the man called McDowell.
Part One of the book opens up with a Prologue set in Nepal, in the Himalayas, back in the year 1981, wherein we see our main man, Hiram, doing one of his favorite activities which is mountain climbing, and on which occasion, we first realized how heartless a man he is. He turned away and left his friend and companion, Erick Woolf, at that time when he needed him most. Here, we also see him as the unfaithful husband to his third wife, Carole Mastriano, and a rude stepfather to Carole's daughters from her previous marriage, Tasha and Candice. He would have involvement with a lot of different women everywhere he goes to, and would not be ashamed of it, not even to his wife Carole. His greed and selfish ambition made him deceive his friend and colleague Michael O'Leary and showed not a bit of remorse from what he's done. All he ever cared about was his two children from his second marriage, Billie and Sophie. Billie who had an affair with his stepsister Tasha, resulting to her pregnancy, and Ann, his daughter from his first wife, who is caught in a turbulent marriage, formed as anchors that pulled him down and made him realize that he is, indeed, human still.
This book, although it showed a man of selfish ambition, one who is greedy and self-centred, who couldn't care less about anybody, be it family, friends and colleagues, it also showed the reality of redemption, not because Hiram wanted it to happen, but because God orchestrated it to happen. One day the tables suddenly turned, when his grandson Jeremy, Ann's son mass murder and attempted to commit suicide but failed in doing so. Hiram was convicted as one who committed euthanasia to help his grandson out of his situation and was sentenced for 25 years. During his imprisonment he staged a way for him to break free. He lived cursing all the people that made him suffer, until, he met someone that challenged him to change his ways.
I remember there was a time in my life when I thought that life was unfair. I see bad people getting what they want, while the good ones suffer. I hated Hiram for his extremely unpleasant behavior towards everybody and I found myself happy when finally he was convicted and sentenced to jail, and hated him again for breaking out of jail. But I can't help but be thankful that he was able to encounter those people in the end of his journey. They didn't treat him partially, rather, they welcomed him into their home and taught him more valuable things about life, which has given him a new perception.
I find the author very skillful as he successfully made his way through controversial topics such adultery and elicit affairs, dysfunctional family relationships, juvenile delinquency, conspiracy and corruption. Problems that our society face nowadays. I love the parallelism he showed, putting a sense of truthfulness in the story. Most of all, I love that it opens a way to redemption, how God can make a way through those people in our lives, for us to change for the better. Last but not the least, I appreciate the way the author made use of a narrative style of writing, where readers are ushered into the next scene, providing no lull in the story. The illustrations preceding the parts of the book gives readers a peak of what the proceeding chapter was about.
With all these said, I, therefore, give this book a 4 out of 4 stars. Although, I noticed an error wherein Candice's name showed as Candace in the next page, I don't think it would affect a wonderfully written story that much. I think a final proofreading would help. One more thing I appreciate with this book is that it didn't dwell too much on intimacy, considering it forms part of the story. That's why I can say I'm happy to recommend this to readers 18 years old and above who loves multi-genre books. Again, congratulations to the author for this exceptional Novel he has written!
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