Thursday 24 January 2019

Toward the Gleam - T.M. Doran

Toward the Gleam
Toward the Gleam Book 1
T.M. Doran
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781586176334

This book was a very pleasant surprise. It had been on my radar for a while and sat on my kindle for a few months. But once I started reading it I could not put it down. I read through my breaks at work and through my lunches and devoured the book over three days. It was so hard to put down when I had to take breaks from it.

This novel in the historical fiction style is told in a compelling way. There are so many characters that bibliophiles and bookaholics will recognize as authors and professors from the last century. It is an interesting blend of history, and the fantasy story that our Professor John Hill has uncovered. The main story is set between the first and second world wars. The story starts with an old man appearing at a monastery and telling the abbot the story of the artifact and book he is leaving in their care. Some of his companions cannot but be recognized as members of the Inklings. And his adventures while trying to find out if his translation of the story are possible take him to numerous countries, confirming with specialists in many disciplines. And still only getting a partial translation. But in his attempts to gleam information he arouses the interest of a man who ends up being a formidable and most dangerous foe.

There are so many interesting characters in this novel, both the representations of authors from the time, and the other characters in the story. A giant of a man who was formerly a slaver. A woman who can become almost anyone and is a master of disguise. A strange hermit in the hills. And then our own Professor Hill, his with, and his close group of friends. The longer Professor Hill has his artifact and the further he proceeds in his translation, the more danger he is in, and not just him, but his family and his friends. The story itself is story wrapped around a mystery, focused on philosophical questions. Questions that were important in the time that the story is set, and in many ways even more important today.

This story is a much more intellectual novel than many that are available today. It is not a Tom Clancy or a Robert B. Parker type of mystery. There is a depth in this story that you can go to again and again. It is well that can be plumbed and will leave you thinking. It is a novel that will suck you in and keep you turning the pages.

I have had this book for a while, but it just sat in my 'to be read pile' for a more than a year. It is a curious book, and many characters from history, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and more. Once I got going, I could not put it down. A great beginning and looking forward to where the story will go in book 2. If you have read much by or about the Inklings I am certain you will enjoy this story immensely. A great read for fans of literary fiction or historical fiction of all ages. A great read!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by T.M. Doran:

Iota: A Novel
Circling the Turtle

Seeing Red

Toward the Gleam Series:
Toward the Gleam
The Lucifer Ego


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