the book reviews
The book, Anthony Adverse, by Hervey Allen, is the first historical romance and H. A. is considered to be the inventor of the genre. From the first paragraph, one can see the skill at work here. With the perfect number of words, we are given the information necessary to feel the climate, learn the historical significance of the location, and have a good look at the characters. All without being too long or too curt; and when prose occurs, it is as natural as breathing. Later, the reader gets to see a powerful psychological analysis folded in with each portrait. The canvas is the world, and the main character, Anthony, is tracked from conception to the grave. Along the way, the reader is treated to an in-depth exploration of the human soul as well as geography, history, and politics. This is a book that demands being reread every decade or so. The canvas is so vast and well rendered, that your daily acquisition of knowledge, particularly in history, will be supplemented by this exceptional book. For those who are interested, the story was made into a wonderful movie. A personal note: Many scholarly people thrust books into my hands, and promise me a delirium of insights. I read them, usually to no avail. When I was twelve years old, during summer vacation at the beach house; my grandmother dropped a copy of the book on my bedside table. She did not say a word and I was instantly pulled into the story. More than thirty years later, I still learn from it.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.