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 Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite
Harold J. Fischel's book Anthony is as meaningful as it is simple. A simple story, with a normal plot, but the depth and the meaning within is so much more. To say that Anthony has had a rough life would be a major understatement. The product of an affair, his relationship with his father had always been strained, but then when his father dies, and his mother falls terminally ill, it's really like life is at an end. Neighborhood violence brings out a spark within Anthony that he didn't even know existed, and he starts to grow into a man - if not in mind, at least in body. His maturity, however, has a long way to go to match the newly adult body. It will take several encounters and shocking moments to get him to finally leave behind the doubts and pain of his childhood and become a true adult.
It's not often that I find a book that truly moves me, but Anthony may have just been it. Anthony is so real...such a realistic and poignant character. He is bitter, confused, sad, angry, and while his experience is not necessarily the norm of a typical young adult, you can easily relate to him. What a transformation. Anthony goes from a scared and weak child to a fierce, understanding, and competent young man. I loved seeing the way that other people had an effect on him. Usually you see characters change because of events that happen, but Anthony really changed based on his perception of himself vs. the perception that others have of him. Fischel writes with skill and craftsmanship that is a joy to read. I would read anything else he has to offer in a heartbeat.