I think I can now classify my reading life as “before I read McDowell” and “after I read McDowell.” The good news is that this book is phenomenal. The bad news is that it has become a cornerstone to which every book I read will be compared–and probably fall short.
William Coles characters are so vivid and three-dimensional they sigh and bleed across the pages. But you won’t love them. They are beyond flawed, and you could even argue beyond redemption. Coles is not writing about beauty and love or hope and healing. Coles is painting a portrait of despair and guilt. His characters are damaged goods in many ways, with painful histories that have consumed them with a slow-burning rage.
Don’t give up because of the lengthy, detailed explanations and slow-moving beginning. As you become attached to the characters, the story unfolds and becomes one you will be glad you didn’t put aside. The book is incredible. 4/5 only because of the lengthy beginning.
A wonderful experience.