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Asuccessful woman lawyer falls in love with a TV-evangelist accused of sexually molesting a child. She loses the case and while on appeal he escapes the country. She leaves family and new husband and child to follow him to Africa. She is faced with deep questions about who he really is and she returns in penury to try to rebuild her life and career only to discover the devastating effects of unrequited love.


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Review by Rosh_360

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
The title of the book, “The Spirit of Want” is truly justified. Throughout the book, you might hate Lucy for certain parts but in the end, you will always come back to feeling sorry for her as you understand her pain. One of the few sentences in this book that has gravely touched me is when Elizabeth (Lucy’s sister) is talking to Luke about Lucy having abandoned her family. She says, “and what might have happened if Lucy could have known she had real family, a sister, a father.” “That she was loved enough to know how to love others.” It shows us how important love is in a person’s life, and how it shapes our lives. And how Lucy had never known love, in order to be able to give it to someone else. And so, she undestood only the language of lust,needs and wants.
By the time you reach the end of this story, your heart might have skipped beats several times! But that is what I look for in a book, its ability to hook me to it and have me reading it till 3 am, eager to finish it and yet hold onto it at the same time.
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Review by Sfranco1

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
I really enjoyed this book. Lucy is a complicated, but very human, character. She is both ruthless and vulnerable. She makes poor choices, and the reader will root for her while also being angry with her. William H. Coles develops Lucy perfectly. He shows how she can both reject and desire love. He shows us her insecurities and how she manages them — sometimes in disastrous ways. We see how she is a strong, beautiful, and intelligent woman, yet she is fallible to her heart’s wants, as irrational as they may be.
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Review by SmrutiS

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
William H. Coles in The Spirit of Want weaves Lucy’s romantic adventures. She is a lawyer by profession. The impression that a reader forms when she first appears, is that of an arrogant and a proud woman with an I-don’t-care attitude. She ends up with an accident the first night that she drives with Luke. She marries him. She takes up Reverend Bain’s case – underage molestation. She loses. Well, what does she lose? What does she gain in the bargain? What does she have to give up? Many such questions would only be answered if you read the book.
Readers who like romance would definitely want to read this. However, this is not a regular story where a boy meets a girl, they fall in love, they get married and they live happily ever after. Hence, though it is a romance, I would not say it is meant for those who like reading Mills and Boon stories. This novel does not have elements of historical romance or fantasy. It takes you through Lucy’s emotional journey and her romantic adventures. So, if you like reading such a text, this is for you.

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cgehan

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic characters and the unpredictable plot this story brings. I believe that anyone in the legal or medical field would truly enjoy Coles’ work. I also would recommend it to those with sisters or mothers as the story revolves around the sisters’ complicated relationship and a mother of daughters would have an interesting perspective while reading.
I found little errors and believe the story to be well edited. Due to the characters and their development, the plot, and the authors writing style I give The Spirit of Want, by William H. Coles 4 out of 4 stars and would recommend to readers everywhere.
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OliviaLouise

Review from OnlineBookClub.org
Coles did a great job of developing a complex protagonist that plays with the reader’s emotions. I found myself sympathizing with Lucy one moment and then questioning everything I thought I knew about her the next. Additionally, the plot was suspenseful and unpredictable, yet had a very believable and natural flow. Strategic time jumps take the reader through the years of Lucy’s life and create a window into the long-term impact of her choices. There is a lot of thematic material to sift through, from socioeconomic status to gender roles to morality; Lucy very much struggles for, against, and with each of these, and I found myself pulled into the struggle with her again and again. The book was very well edited.
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Reviewed By Tracy Young for Readers’ Favorite

The Spirit of Want by William H. Coles tells the story of the MacMeil family and how they affect the people they meet. A.J. is a patriarch and gifted surgeon, his wife Agnes is his faithful companion and they have two daughters. Lucy is a Puerto Rican beauty who was adopted before they had their other daughter, Elizabeth. Luke Osbourne works for A.J. and has met the family briefly but finds himself accepting a lift from Lucy under difficult circumstances. Luke finds himself embroiled in the MacMeil family ethos and the drama that ensues. Lucy finds herself drawn to a client, an enigmatic TV evangelist, who is facing charges of underage sex with a young girl, and forgets the commitments she has made to Luke and her family. Traveling to Africa, she abandons everything to be with Hower Bain, her former client, and only escapes when illness forces her to leave. Lucy returns to the US and is forced to work as an aide to a Congresswoman who is incompetent and unfit for the position she seeks. Will she find happiness with Bain as he returns to the US or will it all end in tears?

This is a great read. The MacMeil family is a fascinating mix of characters that will keep you guessing to the last page. This story runs the full gamut of human emotions and will have you burning the midnight oil as you read just one more chapter. Adoption and parenthood, marriage and sibling relationships are all examined and uncovered; raw human emotion at its very best. Lucy is a fascinating character who will take you on a journey as you decide if you love her or hate her, but one thing is sure, you will never forget her. The Spirit of Want is an amazing saga and William H. Coles is an amazing storyteller.


Reviewed By Samantha Dewitt (Rivera) for Readers’ Favorite

There were some really good parts to this story and I thought the characters were generally interesting, though it didn’t feel like the reader got to know them very well, and there seemed to not be a lot actually happening through the plot. The entire party scene where Luke and Lucy first meet, as well as them getting married, seemed really fake and even though this is pointed out later that it was fake for Lucy, it was strange that Luke fell for it when he had such strong reservations before. Lucy seemed like an odd character and, since she’s the main character, this definitely impacted the entire story. It was difficult to understand her because she seemed to be completely different people throughout and she jumped from one thing to the next with little understanding.

The plot of her leaving Hower and then being drawn back in makes sense because she’s looking for something, but the kidney failure and even before that her daughter having leukemia seemed like they were just thrown in for no reason. Jennifer really had no important place in the story, other than it left Lucy with a little bit of regret (though seemingly not much), and it was the entire cause of Elizabeth and Luke getting together. So really it seemed like she was only there to form a segue for Luke and Elizabeth and then she was gotten rid of like an extra character.

I think the plot needs a little more focus. There doesn’t seem to be anything really big that happens here. Lucy’s changes in her life are all treated as minor and she seems to get over everything really quickly, which makes it seem like these aren’t important plot points – but she’s the whole focus of everything. And the finale seems to trail off to something that could be a second book to find out what’s going to happen to everyone, but there hasn’t been enough action to really draw readers in.


Reviewed By Viga Boland for Readers’ Favorite

The spirit of want is what drives most of the primary characters in this literary fiction novel by William H. Coles. The beautiful, but deeply conflicted lawyer, Lucy, isn’t sure what she wants. But after she marries Luke, a doctor who wants Lucy from the day he meets her, she knows Luke isn’t what she wants. Lucy’s gentle and loving half-sister, Elizabeth, wants a husband and children. The girls’ mother, Agnes, wants a grandchild; their father, a top surgeon, wants money and status. And then there’s the charismatic preacher, Hower, whom Lucy is hired to defend in a rape case, who ends up bedding her to get what he wants: to escape imprisonment and ultimately regain his power and hold over his devoted followers. When Lucy succumbs to Hower’s power, all hell breaks loose in both her professional and personal life. She abandons Luke, her child, and her family, believing Hower will satisfy the spirit of want that drives her, only to have her wants, like her, die unfulfilled.

As in most of William H. Coles’ novels and short stories, the focus is always on the flaws and fragilities that make the mighty fall. This was the case with surgeons McDowell and Otherson in two of Coles’ other novels, and such is the case with Lucy in The Spirit of Want. Coles enjoys exploring the psyches and personality traits of those driven to succeed who reach the top. But, as is often said, once you reach the top, there’s only one way to go. So Coles fires on, showing readers how pride can destroy, and reminding us there is much to learn from others on that downhill slide. One of the difficulties readers encounter in reading The Spirit of Want and other novels by Coles is his tendency to address many different social, religious and political issues while telling the story. He does this by introducing lots of characters and situations as the story develops. While each of these situations and the accompanying exchange of ideas between the characters is interesting, and prompts readers to think about more than just the plot of the book, some readers may find these digressions distracting. Thankfully, since Coles’ primary writing device is dialogue, rather than narration, we are not distracted for too long before the plot leaps forward again.

In The Spirit of Want, one of the transitions in situations for which the reader was quite unprepared was Lucy, the lawyer, becoming sexually and romantically involved with Hower. In one chapter, after visiting with him to probe deeper into the rape allegations, she comes away disliking him with such intensity she hopes she never has to meet with him again. The next time the reader hears about Lucy and Hower, she has been disbarred for conduct unbefitting her professional role as a defence lawyer…and the reader had no idea they had even met again under any circumstances. That is enough to make readers flip back through the pages, wondering if they’d missed a chapter! One other element that makes The Spirit of Want, in fact all of Coles’ novels, interesting is what he reveals about what goes on behind the scenes in the medical profession. Knowing that Coles is himself a retired doctor, there’s no reason to believe that what he presents is merely creative fiction. It’s eye-opening and often not very nice at all. As in all the works of William H. Coles, there is much to learn about many things in The Spirit of Want.


Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite

The Spirit of Want by William H. Coles is a spellbinding novel that explores legal themes, romance, family, and one woman’s unconventional pursuit of happiness. Lucy MacMeil is a defense attorney, happily married to her father’s subordinate, surgeon Luke Osbourne. But when she takes up the case in defense of a charismatic and magnetic TV evangelist accused of sexually abusing a girl, everything changes. She falls in love with her client and when the evangelist loses the case, he flees to Africa, awaiting an appeal. Lucy abandons her family, her husband, and her little baby and follows the evangelist. But upon meeting him again, she discovers the man isn’t the person she believed him to be. Coming back home doesn’t put her back in the good graces of her family, so she takes a job that ends badly. Can she find a foothold and rebuild her life again.

This is a dramatic story that reflects the reality many couples experience. Lucy is a typical woman who loses her ability to think her choices through, focused on her passionate love for a man who betrays her. This is an engrossing tale with many twists. The characters are multidimensional and very complex, especially the protagonist and the TV evangelist. The author shows a great understanding of con men who hide their evil behind the veil of religion to take advantage of others. The Spirit of Want is told in a captivating voice, emotionally charged, with strong hints of a psychological thriller. William H. Coles makes it real. 5/5 Stars


Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

The Spirit of Want is a work of literary dramatic fiction penned by author William H. Coles. This sweeping work of life, love, passion, money, deceit, and romance focuses primarily on the life of Lucy MacMeil, a defense lawyer who seems at first to have it all. When she marries surgeon Luke Osborne, the busy couple have a daughter and begin their life together, but Lucy’s head is turned by a charismatic evangelist whom she is defending on abuse charges. Lucy abandons her whole life just to be with the Reverend, and it’s then that secrets and truths unravel her new passionate fantasy life.

Want is a great theme for fiction, and this work achieves a realistic sense of what untamed want and greed can do when a person is always looking for the grass to be greener on the other side. The prose is superbly crafted to construct the atmosphere of the different people Lucy encounters in her life, and the narration gives little away about the truth of each one until it’s too late. This makes for a compelling page-turner that has you physically reacting to the decisions made, and though you may not like Lucy as a central figure, she is certainly realistically formed and leaping off the page. Author William H. Coles has crafted an intelligent read on many levels that has a lot to say about human nature, the power of money, forgiveness and family ties, making The Spirit of Want an all-round enjoyable dramatic novel. 5/5 Stars