Local author’s first novel interesting read

Local author’s first novel interesting read

MORGAN LESTER, Evergreen columnist

WSU employee Mark Ready’s novel, “Hedwig and the Battle for Human Destiny,” goes a little something like this: Alexandra van Sweiten is the young wife of Gottfried, and they live together in 18th century Silesia. Together, they are having their first child, a beautiful girl named Hedwig. However, shortly after the birth of her young daughter, Alexandra is told by her guardian angel, Madde, that God has a special calling for her daughter.

But Alexandra must sacrifice herself for her daughter to reach this calling. After visions reveal just what kind of good her daughter could bring to the world, she makes her decision. This sets both her daughter and husband on a journey, as Gottfried struggles to get over his grief and take care of Hedwig.

This is Ready’s first go at writing a book, and it’s not perfect by any means. That being said, it was an interesting read, and at times rather depressing, as Gottfried fought his grief. It is a long story, and one that is written with passion, but also incomplete in some ways.

I noticed a few things remain undescribed. In the first chapter, for example, Ready glossed over a description of the story’s setting, instead referring to a vista that a character was viewing as “18th century Silesia,” which jarred me from the story, and also left me without a conclusive idea as to what this place looked like. It did, however, rarely surface again as I read.

The story was clearly the first part to a trilogy, as this book goes through Hedwig’s upbringing, with the next two books going through her life as she faces the crisis of a heirless throne in Austria, where Silesia is located.

The prologue, the tale of an angel gone rogue, was somewhat out of place, but it held my attention when I read it through. I appreciated how Ready developed the characters, making them more human, and showing how their mission from God wore on them; there was also some questioning of their faith, and if they should keep going, sometimes questioning if it was worth the sacrifice.

Though it wasn’t something I would have pick up off the shelf, Ready has done pretty well with his first novel, and I wonder what comes next in Hedwig’s story as she begins to face her destiny.

Morgan Lester is a freshman architectural studies major from Leavenworth, Kansas. He can be contacted at [email protected].