It was a great pleasure and privilege to read this book. Hands off to the author for a marvellous work of fiction, for absolute literary greatness.

We meet Hiram McDowell, an American man with a complex man with an even more complex life and we are immersed into the journey of his life and his family’s life. Hiram is a surgeon, a father, a husband, a humanitarian, and a pursuer of his highest potential. We are told the story of his life, how he has relentless ambition and drive to succeed above and beyond, which only leads him to greatness. However his own ferocious approach to life starts to back fire on him as he losses all he worked for, he makes a few bad decisions that he pays for dearly but not without the growth and introspection that any significant life event can cause. His children are not spared as they also have to deal with the aftermath of their father’s tumultuous life.

Hiram is a strong character, very well depicted and created with layers and layers of humanness, flaws and all, that I loved going through and discovering. There are times I hated him and times I pitied him…I would at times recognise him as a friend and at others a foe…this story is just amazingly written by William H. Coles. It is difficult to put this book into a genre due to its multifaceted themes, but it is definitely a drama. McDowell appears to be self published however it definitely gives the impression of being professionally edited, with very few errors in language and grammar and perfect structure.

Through this novel Coles brilliantly addresses a vast array of relevant issues such as euthanasia, divorce, adultery, religion, journalism, third world humanitarian aid, death, the American justice system, homelessness, music and its culture and he pays tribute to the cities and towns that the story is set in, allowing them to come alive even to a complete foreigner as myself, who has never been to the USA. There is never a dull moment in this book as Coles takes us from one topic to another, using the characters to explore each theme to a satisfying depth.

I honestly cannot fault this book anything. I liked it. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars and I hardly ever do that. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read, male or female, young or old, from any walk of life. This book is the kind that any and every reader will relate to one way or another.
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