2 out of 4 stars
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Spirit of the Season by Brian Lamont is a simple tale of a young candle maker living in the early years of industrialization. Having mastered the skill of candle making from his late father, he lived in an idyllic English country and made candles for a living. He had then improved the techniques and reformed the workshop that his father had left. Working at nights and resting throughout the day, the young candle maker was able to supply candles beyond the districts to homes of the wealthy and the cathedral in the great city. Uneducated and having been in the company of his late father for many years, the young candle maker is brought out to exhibit an antisocial behavior.
One day, he saved a man who had broken his leg. Squire, as he came to know his name later, appreciates the young candle maker’s humane act by gifting him a horse which helps him win the heart of a young woman, daughter of a storekeeper. They both marry and after a few years, through a twist of fate, his newly wedded bride dies during child birth together with the infant. Forsaken and feeling the despair of his life, the candle maker is forced to suppress his past by locking himself in his cottage for many years just warming by the hearth and drinking wine.
I enjoyed reading through the first five chapters of the novel because of its simple language and a straightforward plot. The narration was also consistent. I liked the way Brian Lamont portrayed the friendship between the young candle maker and the storekeeper’s daughter and how it graduated to love. It was really refreshing to see how the two worked and supported one another.
I disliked this novel and I had several issues with it. After the death of the candle maker’s wife, the conflict of the novel seems to have been resolved in the preliminary chapters and the story begins to bore. It appears to me as if the author shifted from narrating the story to giving a biography of the protagonist. It was disappointing that the last chapters did not reignite my interest in the book. I absolutely disliked the fact that there were no significant plot twists.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. There were a few things that I felt could have been improved upon. To start with, some adventures by the protagonist were not necessary as they did not affect the progress of the story. It is easy for a reader to skip a chapter and still catch up with the storyline. I also felt that the book did not have a satisfying ending that could blow me away. The ending was hastily arrived and left me with questions. Nevertheless, I recommend the book to lovers of historical books.
Spirit of the Season
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