Genre: Historical fiction
Title: Restless Heart
Author: T. William Phillips
It’s 1838 and eighteen year-old Konrad Quintero de Leon wants more than knowledge from books found only between four walls on a university campus. He wants to experience life and find what calls to him on a deep level. He leaves New York for England and learns his first lesson from his uncle – that to understand a city fully, one needs to live there, not just visit. Konrad’s quest for knowledge and experience expands with each new discovery and he finds that he’s always restless for something more.
Most people Konrad knows follow their parents’ advice and pursue lives that may not fully satisfy them. Konrad follows his own beat, his own heart, in order to discover the life he’s meant to live. The road isn’t always easy or exactly as expected, but Konrad keeps moving forward with the adventures and new discoveries that fill his life with pleasure and pain, yet mostly with the unquenchable desire for more.
T. William Phillips’ choice of first person narrative talks to the reader in a way that almost prompts a conversation. The first-person voice is curious, thoughtful, and honest. The book is broken into three sections. Duty, justice, and truth are themes for each section and relate to the growth Konrad experiences as he ages. The author keeps the character true on the focus of following his heart’s decisions, which could make for a predictable story line. However, the character, like any real person, sometimes struggles between ‘want’ and ‘should’. It’s a well-crafted tale.
Restless Heart is T. William Phillips’ first literary work. He has other novels and novellas in process. He’s studied classic literature, including Hermann Hesse, Ernest Hemingway, and Jack Kerouac, as well as Dostoevsky, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Flaubert, Camus, Steinbeck, and Joyce.
Anyone with a curious, and perhaps never quite settled spirit, will enjoy Restless Heart. It’s a historical novel full of adventure, romance, self-discovery, and travel. A recommended read. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews.