4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell written by William H. Coles, is an incredible book that explores how the main character, Hiram McDowell undergoes a magnificent change. Hiram McDowell is first perceived as a person who appreciates an adventure, is self centred and puts himself before others. He is a surgeon in Denver and although he is married and has children, he is constantly having affairs. McDowell is a businessman, making lots of money and does not care for those that he manipulates and cheats. In the second part of the story, we see McDowell in a different light and his perspective of life around him changes. He is determined to write a memoir on how he was cheated in life, but from others opinions discovers that he needs to see his situation from others perspectives. This offers a small insight into why the book may have been created and teaches readers about the theme that success and money may not be the key to happiness.
Coles is an extraordinary author and his style made the book a pleasure to read. He used many imagery techniques to help develop his settings and characters, but allowed our imaginations to take control. In only the first few chapters, I could see that this was going to be an enjoyable read, as the characters all had in depth, backstories making sure that the reader could personally connect with them. In the prologue, the reader was instantly pulled into the thrill of a climbing adventure with McDowell and this excitement continued throughout most of the book. I also really liked the frequent use of italics, which represented the characters thoughts in first person, it helped to develop their personalities even more. McDowell had an amazing flow and when I finished the book, I left feeling a sense of satisfaction that I had read such an amazing book.
It was difficult to find something that I did not like in the novel. Some parts of McDowell went into a little too much detail with minor characters, which made the book a little lengthy at times. Some people may struggle with the amount of characters to keep track of and their back stories, but most of them were needed to develop the story.
There were some errors in the story that were minor, such as in Chapter 34 "She stays to late afternoon." which should have been, 'she stays too late in the afternoon' and in Chapter "... continued to look a Sophie." which should have been, 'continued to look at Sophie'. I did not feel that these errors took away from the overall score.
I would give McDowell a rating of 4 out of 4 stars because it is such an incredible book to read and is one that I was unable to put down for long. I had to know what happened next. I would not give this book a lower rating, because I felt that there were many more positives than negatives. The way that Cole draws the reader in straight away, is a book definitely worth reading.
Overall I recommend McDowell to anyone who is wanting a book that they can escape into and immerse themselves with the characters. This book is aimed at an audience over 16 years, as there are sexual parts and touchy topics such as euthanasia. I also thought that the pictures used in McDowell were well thought of and helped connect certain ideas. The novel ends strongly and leaves you to decide what your views and opinions are of Hiram McDowell.
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