Life has never been easy for Anthony, the secret love child of a well-known US general and his beautiful mistress. After his father perishes in a plane crash, his cancer-stricken mother, Yuni, is forced to move with him to a tiny New York City apartment. And to make matters worse, he’s flagged as an easy target for neighborhood bullies, who constantly pester him inside and outside of school.
But after a brutal attack prompts him to fight back in a fit of rage, things start to turn around for the young boy. He shows promise joining the swim and wrestling teams in school, and begins to grow into the tall and physically fit body he inherited from his father.
Just when Anthony’s situation seems to be getting better, however, tragedy strikes his life yet again. In order to put the pieces back together, he turns to some of the strong female figures in his life. But it’s the one girl who he least expects that might have the power to heal him—shedding his image as the illegitimate son through the magic of love and helping him leave his tragic childhood behind.
Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Anthony is a coming of age story written by Harold J. Fischel. Anthony is the child of Lieutenant General Bruce Walker and his mistress, Yuni. When Walker dies in an accident, he acknowledges Anthony as his son and provides for him and his mother. Yuni’s medical bills quickly erode that inheritance, however, and she is forced to declare bankruptcy and move into a NYC Housing Authority project. When we first meet Anthony, he’s trying desperately to persuade his mother to let him bring Zorbo, his dog, with them to the new apartment where dogs are not allowed. One of the movers who knows the manager of the building intercedes, and Anthony is allowed to keep his best friend. The new neighborhood is challenging for the young boy, but new friends, caring adults and the efforts of the coach at the YMCA make the transition a lot easier.
Harold J. Fischel’s coming of age story, Anthony, is inspiring and heartwarming. Anthony’s life is turned upside down by his mother’s illness, but the adults he comes in contact with as he grows up help make his life story a triumphant one. Yuni’s friend, Aunt Rita, is a marvelous character as are Kay and her parents. Anthony’s progression from a withdrawn, small and chubby kid into a confident, caring and ethical young man is wonderful to watch. Fischel’s writing style is accomplished and smooth, and I quickly became immersed in this athletic and ethical story of triumph over adversity. Anthony is a marvelous book and is highly recommended reading.