The Second: A Novel of Spirituality, Religion and Politics
Mr. Cooper doesn’t lie. This novel is loaded with detail of spirituality, religion and politics. It is not an easy read and requires the attention and patience of the reader. But, I promise it is well worth the effort.
Arthur, the narrator, meets and falls in love with Chantelle, the protagonist, but he is plagued with his own demons and sabotages the relationship only to pursue her later through letters. Chantelle, an extremely bright, altruistic young woman whose one fault is her naïveté, travels from Canada to the U. S. on her own mission to enlighten all who listen to her talks. The antagonist, Terry Hardy, goes out of his way to befriend Chantelle for his own nefarious reason. Then there is the relationship between Chantelle and her father, Pantel, which is extraordinary and beautiful.
The Second is a moving and thought provoking tale masterfully crafted by Mr. Cooper who uses spirituality, religion and politics to define his characters and propel the story forward. I would add that it is also a story of unconditional love.