The Broward parents, from Piedmont of North Carolina, died at the same time, leaving the adult and almost-adult family of four children. After the funeral and cleaning out the house and outbuildings, Henry returned to Arizona and Martha to Michigan. Jessie, in her twenties, had no choice but to take seventeen-year-old Carrie into her small apartment. Carrie had dropped out of high school earlier, and Jessie got Carrie a job at the local movie theater. Jessie’s intention was to follow her parents’ Christian principles in guiding Carrie, although she was involved with a married man. This intention was soon challenged by Carrie’s interest in Zamel, an Iranian who worked on computers and for the local funeral home. Jessie’s disapproval of this relationship and its many implications for Carrie’s life lies at the center of Sister Carrie, written by William H. Coles.
This short story is full of suspense and intrigue. It soon becomes apparent that Zamel has some secrets including involvement with unsavory characters. Carrie is not allowed into parts of his life. Yet, it is clear there is love and commitment in their relationship. Two other characters in the book, Reverend Luther Coffey and Harold Lester, strengthen the storylines of Jessie’s Christian beliefs and the intrigue of Zamel’s life. The book is well written and flows easily from event to event. The ending is unexpected, and it illustrates the themes of this fascinating story. Author William H. Coles has crafted a complex and engaging plot in Sister Carrie. An interesting read!