Fidelis O. Mkparu
Harvard Square Editions (2018)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/18)
“Tears Before Exaltation” by Fidelis O. Mkparu is an extraordinary literary medical thriller that tells the story of young medical student, Ben Ava.
Having lost both parents, Ben suffers their losses and struggles to finish his education on his own. He is excited to discover that he has been awarded a scholarship, which requires him to move to Memphis. While this move causes him to lose his girlfriend, it also means that he will no longer have to work two jobs. Shortly after he arrives, Ben discovers that an old friend and classmate of his, Brenda, with whom he was once close, has been awarded the same scholarship. Ben learns that Brenda is suffering from severe emotional issues and, having to share a suite with her, quickly recognizes that she despises him. Ben is also dismayed when he realizes that the doctors directing his education are pompous and egotistical. One doctor goes after Ben because he is interested in Ben’s latest romantic interest Rita.
For someone trying to survive medical school, Ben has a lot of other issues on his hands. He is especially affected by the women in his life who are suffering from emotional damage caused by family members who betrayed them when they were young. Using compassion and determination, Ben does everything he can to help them heal and move forward with their lives while continuing to pursue his own dream.
“Tears Before Exaltation” is a stunning literary drama that combines key elements such as romance, suspense, and psychological intrigue. The author immediately caught my attention by creating a likable, compassionate hero who rules his life by acting with integrity. He is surrounded by several key players who do not share his ethical standards. The hero often suffers because the people surrounding him are damaged by things that happened in their pasts. While Ben came from a normal, loving upbringing, he still carries the ability to try to understand and help his friends. It is interesting to watch his character evolve and mature throughout the story. The other characters in the story are well developed and most of them are not always likable. This aspect adds even more to the drama because they rarely act in ways that help improve the protagonist’s life.
The writing is contemporary and compassionate, tackling highly relevant social issues such as mental illness, including alcoholism and depression. The story has an engaging pace that makes it hard to put down with twists and excitement that will leave you wanting more.
Readers who enjoy intrigue, drama, and romance set in the medical field, will quickly find themselves immersed this novel. I highly recommend “Tears Before Exaltation” by Fidelis O. Mkparu!