by Richard French
This novel takes place in two time periods – the mid-20th century and almost 300 years before in a fictional English colony in the new world called Sagadac.
The veteran director Vincent Adair hopes to reinvigorate his career by making a movie about a theological controversy that spread through Sagadac in the 17th century. He involves many other people in his plans, of course, and the odd-numbered chapters of this novel tell about the experiences of some of them – veteran actors, technical people, residents of the town where the filming takes place, and Adair himself.
The even-numbered chapters present the story of the controversy from the viewpoint of one of the participants, who was first a friend and then an adversary of the woman at the center of the story, who believes the colony has turned dry and rigid, so she brings untested ideas that defy the ruling orthodoxy.
One purpose of “The Opinionists” is to give examples of conflicts between creativity and established order and between love for freedom and abuse of power. Another purpose is to invite readers to think about what makes good leadership.
If you like stories about courageous women, human error, and America’s past, then “The Opinionists” will appeal to you.
Buy this novel now that adapts a story from America’s past for the use of readers today. .
have to say I enjoyed the Opinionists. I do wish I had read it in a different way, though.
This book contains two stories, one set in colonial America in a fictional place that resembles Boston, Mass. The other set in the western part of the fictional state that resembles Massachusetts, but is in more modern times.
Each story was compelling in its own right, but each added little to the other, and could have easily stood alone. The tale alternates between paragraphs, and I think that had I read it by story instead of straight through it would have been more enjoyable.
I really wish the author had picked ONE of the tales and fleshed it out more because there was more to be told in each.
If you like going back and forth in time while you read, and don't mind if the stories are only loosely connected, then I think you might enjoy this book.
About the author
Richard French was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1942. He decided when he was in the 8th grade that fiction writing would be at the center of his life. He has written more than a dozen novels now available on kindle and as print on demand paperback from Amazon's CreateSpace. His website is http://www.rfrenchnovelist.com.
After graduating from the University of Chicago, he served in the American army for four years with almost three as a Lao linguist. He has dabbled in the theatre and worked in the banking business in the Boston area. In later life, he served as a pastor of a Lutheran Church-Canada congregation in Sudbury, Ontario. He now lives in Toronto and works part-time at a mid-town congregation.
Zack Pospieszynski designed book covers for his novels. Zack is former director of Toronto's Peak Gallery and is now Program Director, at an innovative gallery called Matter.