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Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
When Stan Foster washed up on the banks of the Hudson River, he had no recollection of jumping from the George Washington Bridge, only of falling and then of being alive. Stan by Richard Wold is the story of his search to rediscover who he is and why he had jumped from the bridge. He washed into Abigail’s office at the psychiatric ward at the Catholic hospital where she began to try to help him put the pieces of the puzzle together. Having feelings for him, however, caused her to send him to a different psychologist. This person leads Stan to believe that he is actually Satan inhabiting the body of a dark artist. As Stan struggles with the visions that he sees whenever he touches people, and his overwhelming desire to bring out goodness and light, he is conflicted and veers to both extremes. Abigail simply can’t allow Stan to slip through the cracks; there is too much good in him. Along with the two therapists which seem to be coming from completely opposite sides of good and evil, Stan’s agent Lilith is pushing him to the darker side of his art and trying to wield her influence over him as well. Which force will win out? Will Stan discover who he is on his own or will he attempt to repeat trying to take his own life again?
The depth of exploration into the good and evil of the soul are expertly undertaken in Richard Wold’s novel Stan. As you turn the pages and explore deeper into the mysteries, the emotions of pain, joy, fear, and confusion grip your own soul and you find yourself fighting right alongside Stan. The intriguing sideline to this is the effect that it has on Abigail as she, too, is struggling at first on behalf of Stan, but it is her own struggle as well. Deep, intriguing and full of soul-searching, Stan will hold you captive up until the very last word and beyond.