Hiram McDowell is easy to dislike from the very beginning of this story. His arrogance and callous disregard for anyone but himself overwhelms entirely any sense of admiration for the esteemed career position he holds. In fact, this principal character was so distasteful in every aspect of his personality, I was almost reluctant to continue reading more about him. In this, William H. Coles did a brilliant job.
Despite my intense distaste for the principal character, the story became intriguing as the plot developed, and it introduced us to the other characters; people who were involved in Hiram’s life; his family, his work colleagues, his enemies. The first glimpse we receive into the possibility of Hiram having a soul is when his genuine interest in his daughter, Sophie comes to light.
Hiram’s life appears to be on a fast-track to success beyond the success he has already garnered. Then, as life will do, things happen, and Hiram’s very world collapses around him.
Through an incredible yet entirely believable set of circumstances, a chain reaction of events occurs. They strip Hiram of everything he once considered himself entitled to, and left with a literal shell of what he once had. Karma appears to have dealt him the justice he surely deserves.
But a man like Hiram doesn’t simply accept his fate. He fights back, and this is where the story becomes incredible, as we watch this arrogant man restructure his life. The plot twists and turns and suddenly, the reader is walking side-by-side with this character as he moves in and out of people’s lives, on a long road to redemption, learning life’s most essential lessons in a most unexpected and mind-blowing way. I felt a connection to many other characters that became quite satisfying, as they helped Hiram wake up little-by-little and learn that there is more to life than wealth, power and fame.
The plot twists and turns and keeps the reader turning the pages. It is at once incredible and yet also believable as Hiram flees from one circumstance to the next.
The supporting characters moving into and out of the storyline are superb in their development, and I missed them when Hiram moved on. The plot develops many twists and turns that keep the reader guessing and then surprised by the outcome.
I rate this book five out of five stars. It is well edited and exceptionally well written.
The only thing I disliked about this novel was just how well the author fooled me into hating his main character, only to reveal how much we all have to learn in this life, about humanity, and our roles in each other’s lives. I say this tongue-in-cheek. I admire a writer who can write with such depth. This book is so well written and so deep, I will have to reread it to truly appreciate the many layers of the story and its characters.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping and inspiring read about the fragility of life, and the importance of understanding what matters. I was stunned by the ending, and yet its final message was utterly satisfying at the same time if a little sad. McDowell is an incredibly well-written story of the true meaning and purpose of life. I take my hat off to the author. I went from intensely disliking Hiram for very valid reasons, to cheering him on in the end. That’s great writing, and this is a great book.