The Essence of Nathan Biddle

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Tragedy is no stranger in the life of Kit Biddle. His father was killed in a car accident when he was five years old. His male influences were mainly his Uncles Nat and Newt. However, the forces of tragedy struck again when Uncle Nat killed his only son, Nathan, after claiming that God spoke to him and commanded a sacrifice (similar to Abraham and his son Isaac). The murder of his cousin and the commitment of his uncle led to Kit spiraling downward in school and in his social life.

In the period of mourning, the passing of time has become an afterthought. Kit’s future is at an impasse, his junior year of prep school was a disaster, he runs track as an escape, but he bucks at the organized running of his track team. Kit has become interested in existentialism and the idea of nothingness. He opines on the subject with his best friend to a near-obsessive degree. Yet the meaning to life and its endless riddles perplex him, and no one truly seems to be on his level. His mother and his teachers are concerned about his trajectory; they hope he will focus and everything will right itself. Besides running, Kit likes to write poetry; he has a knack for the sonnet. As his senior year comes closer, the future is in front of Kit, but his mindset does not make for a clear vision.

Kit is in love with his classmate Anna. She is his muse, the light to his darkness. Although she is slipping away from him, their relationship more serious to him than to Anna. The fracturing of their courtship further tears at Kit, rendering him near despondent. His sadness nearly blinds him to the affections of Sarah, the sister of a one-time friend. She sees the intelligence and passion in Kit and hopes for a future. Kit feels an attraction to Sarah, yet pines for the unreachable Anna. However, Kit’s actions threaten to undo everything, school, future, maybe even his own life.

The Essence of Nathan Biddle is a coming of age story that will resonate with the adolescent (either current or past). Kit Biddle is complex, conjuring feelings of empathy, sympathy, bemusement. His hardships are rough but identifiable. Author J. William Lewis has written a transfixing drama that will tug at your heart and mind from beginning to end, as we travel with Kit on his emotional journey. A well-written novel for a wide audience to enjoy.


Reviewed By:

Author J. William Lewis
Star Count 5/5
Format eBook
Page Count 440 pages
Publisher Greenleaf
Publish Date 01-Jun-2021
ISBN 9781626348462
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2021
Category Modern Literature
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