The New Prosperity Museum | Critical Book Review
An Epic Saga of Hope and Pain
The New Prosperity Museum by Edward Averett invites readers into the tumultuous life of Henry James George, a bright yet unfortunate assistant curator. Set against the backdrop of post-World War 2 America, predominantly in small Washington state towns like Rochester and Aberdeen, this indie historical novel navigates the country’s idealism and struggles with a tinge of optimism for the future.
The Enigma of Henry James George
Henry, with his three first names, emerges as an exceptionally bright individual, reading by age three. However, his life takes a dark turn, marked by personal tragedies – the death of a sister, the near-loss of another, and the mysterious disappearance of his best friend Wayman. Accused of murder by the town, Henry insists on the mystical nature of Wayman’s vanishing, perhaps linked to Henry saving his sister through the power of reading.
Stolen Power and Healing Gifts
The narrative unfolds as Henry discovers his identity as a Chehalis healer, a curandero. This revelation sparks a discourse on stolen land and power, adding depth to the story. Gifted with spiritual healing abilities, Henry’s journey takes him to the New Prosperity Museum, where he assists the elderly curator and grapples with the ramifications of his unique gift.
A Tapestry of American History
The New Prosperity Museum intricately weaves through American history, touching on the Vietnam War, the onset of the AIDS crisis, and more, all from the perspective of small-town inhabitants. The museum itself becomes a symbol of hope and memory, weathering the elements with its worn-out welcome sign, “COME SEE YOUR FUTURE IN THE PAST.”
Ambitious Scope and Unsettling Realities
Given the novel’s expansive scope, tracking The New Prosperity Museum can be challenging. Unflinchingly delving into moments of intense violence, the narrative races along, encapsulating a remarkable span of Henry’s life within 357 pages. It demands readers to pause, confront uncomfortable truths, and navigate the complexities of the storyline.
A Celebration and a Lament
At its core, The New Prosperity Museum stands as a reflection of a specific era in American history, offering a nuanced exploration of both the hopeful and darker facets. This book is a genuine celebration and lament, providing a grounded perspective on the past and future while seamlessly immersing readers in moments of magical realism. The result is a truly authentic and captivating read.
Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN
|General Fiction / Historical
An Epic Saga of Hope and Pain The New Prosperity Museum by Edward Averett invites readers into the tumultuous life of Henry James George, a bright yet unfortunate assistant curator. Set against the backdrop of post-World War 2 America, predominantly in small Washington state towns like Rochester and Aberdeen, this indie historical novel navigates the…