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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
How do we find purpose in our lives? This is the question at the heart of Spencer Ulrich's novella On Fulfillment. In the summer of 1945, four US Navy sailors, Captain Philip Hawkins, Connor McTavish, Adam Breight, and Jacob Hartley, were stranded on a remote island in the South Pacific Ocean after their battleship was torpedoed and sank. After being rescued, each of them embarked on their separate journeys, trying to make a name for themselves. Jacob gets married and becomes part owner of a successful shipping company with his wife. As the years pass by, he discovers that there is no such thing as the ideal man and the best he can do is help others however he can.
A character-driven slice-of-life drama that follows four men at different stages of their lives, On Fulfillment is a captivating tale about finding one's true purpose. Author Spencer Ulrich crafts some well-rounded characters to tell a grounded story about how people's lives depend on the choices they make and how doing right by others is not only the right thing to do but quite often the best you can do. At the beginning of the story, Jacob Hartley is your everyday man who just wants to get by. But after his close look into Philip Hawkins' life, someone he thought of as the hero, he realizes that although people can be flawed, that doesn't mean they can't strive to do better. Overall, a wonderful novella that I very much enjoyed.