Title: Thursday’s Child
Author name: Joseph Wurtenbaugh
Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Business Intrigue / Legal Thriller
This is an epic story, seasoned with mystery and romance, of how Adele Elizabeth Jansen’s life transforms slowly but irrevocably after meeting author, poet, polymath, and unrecognized genius, Thomas Newcombe.
Adele is an associate in a New York firm who specializes in intellectual property. She wants to become a partner and keep pace with those in the fast track of life, to be influential, powerful, and wealthy enough to pay her father back for all his financial support through college and law school. She’s in a world where being cute can be a hindrance, so she’s become cool, impersonal, and controlled.
Then one of her firm’s clients asks her to oversee Thomas Newcombe as he finishes a ghostwriting project for them. From her very first meeting with Tom, she realizes that he’s someone special, different in a magical sort of way. Once his project is complete, though, he disappears, and she finds herself with an urgent need to understand him better.
She starts on a personal quest to unravel the mysteries in the man’s life, with clues leading to more questions even as her firm gears up for the most important professional week in its history. But nothing is what it once appeared to be, and deals have been made in every direction, protecting some while destroying others. Adele soon finds herself in the thick of things to where she must make difficult decisions that will affect her for the rest of her life.
The pacing is steady but realistic as it unfolds, allowing readers to be deeply involved in the characters and the world of the story. Readers will experience every moment of waiting, uncertainty, and wonderment as to why Tom has become so important to Adele when everything else in life is falling into place—power, prestige, and opportunities, both professional and personal.
There are moments when the narration can feel too complete, like during the ending when threads are followed to finales beyond what might be deemed “necessary,” yet it fits for an epic story that suggests that one life, one meeting, can change everything it touches.
Adele is masterfully drawn, a compelling character who is kind-hearted in a world where kindness can be seen as a weakness. Her growth and change drives this story forward along with the mystery of Tom and how he became the man he is, and the supporting cast is varied, intriguing, and genuine in their flaws and feelings.
However, the beginning of the story drags a bit, and the exposition can feel forced, where explanations are made not because the characters would actually talk about the subject that way, but because the reader needs to know the information quickly so they can understand what’s going on.
Readers who enjoy a long, intimate story that chronicles a critical period in a character’s life will enjoy this novel. It immerses one in a world of ambitions and hopes, both big and small, and allows readers to live alongside Adele, experiencing all the joys, the struggles, and the pain that comes with discovering another person’s secrets and finding oneself.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Editorial Review written by the Book Review Directory Production Team. To receive a similarly honest, professional review for one of your own books, click here.