Tears Before Exaltation

Fiction - Drama
324 Pages
Reviewed on 03/30/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Fidelis O. Mkparu was born in Onitsha Nigeria, a Harvard-trained cardiologist who has written medical articles for both scientific and lay audiences. Tears Before Exaltation is a testament to his belief in empathy, fairness, and commitment to friendship. His previous novel, Love's Affliction, was a 2016 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner for Fiction, a Reader Views Literary Award Winner for 2015/2016, and a finalist for the 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award for Multicultural Fiction. He lives in Canton, Ohio USA.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu revolves around Ben Ava, a medical student who is struggling to make ends meet and pay for medical school since the death of both his parents. It is during these hard times that he receives a letter saying he is the recipient of the Tennessee Medical Scholarship. Ben is overjoyed and he gets ready to go to Memphis. Though he finds financial stability, his girlfriend, Deborah, dumps him. He runs into Brenda there, who had been his friend and lab partner. He realizes that Brenda is not the person he knew before; she is on a destructive path of behavior, but Ben is unable to break away from her. They are like two unstable medical students in a challenging relationship. It is around the same time that he strikes up a friendship with Rita, a beautiful nurse, and this invites the wrath of his supervisor, who is also attracted to her. It is now a question of survival for Ben as he finds himself in a financial mess. Will Ben fight back? Will he be able to get his position back in the hospital? Will he be able to save Brenda?

The story is a gripping psychological thriller that will take readers through many twists and turns and keep them glued to the story till the very end. The author manages to keep the tempo of the plot through Ben's trials, his emotional conflicts, and courage. Ben and Brenda's interaction, Rita and Ben's relationship, and his other relationships at the hospital with the working staff have been woven together to make this a compelling read. The descriptive narration take readers right into the happenings in Ben's life, along with him. The story has intrigue, suspense, courage, love, and friendship that will captivate readers. It is a story of Ben’s honesty, his courage, and his loyalty and that is what makes this book appealing to readers.

Romuald Dzemo

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a delightful story that is infused with a lot of realism and that reflects the dilemmas encountered by today’s gifted young. Ben Ava is a promising medical student who has had his own share of suffering, losing his parents to a stroke and heartbreak. As a student, he has to work crazy hours on different jobs to pay for medical school. Then things change with an offer of a scholarship from a Memphis hospital and he is overjoyed, believing that all his troubles are over. But he couldn’t be more wrong!

Follow Ben’s journey as he gets dumped by a girlfriend, suffers the effects of jealousy from his supervisor over his new love, and as he trudges through the corrupt and dirty atmosphere at the hospital, finally getting suspended, and thrown out of his home. Now awaiting the hospital’s hearing, he hopes for a miracle, but can there be hope for him? Tears Before Exaltation is a story that is filled with a lot of emotion, and the writing itself is compassionate. Fidelis O. Mkparu’s prose flows gracefully, adding a powerful ingredient to an already quickened pace. The author crafts dialogue that is real and engaging, using them to heighten the tension and build conflict as well as character. Ben is a character that the modern American student will easily empathize with, and they will love how he explores the medical system and brings to light the challenges that millions are going through. The story feels so real that one could imagine it happening just next door.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Medical school can be a nightmare, but for Ben it’s turning into something even worse than his nightmares. Nothing could prepare him for the trauma of being completely broke and alone, trying to make his way through medical school with little more than the clothes on his back. But things go from bad to worse when he finds himself on the wrong side of just about everyone at the facility. There’s no telling whether he’ll be able to pull himself through, and even more, if he’ll be able to pull through with his sanity intact. Rita, Brenda and even the doctors will test him, and there’s no way of knowing if he will be strong enough in Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu.

Ben is the type of character that anyone can find ways to relate to. He’s overwhelmed, torn, emotionally wrung out, stressed and more, but at the same time he is kind, supportive, dedicated and a passionate friend. In this book, not only do you see all of that, but you see him grow and become even more developed as time goes on. You never know what’s going to happen to him or what’s going to happen to any of the characters throughout this book, but you'll definitely want to. I loved the way the story unfolded and the way that each of the characters continued to become stronger because of the others. Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is a story about overcoming obstacles and most certainly a story about friendship.

Arya Fomonyuy

A delightful read, Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O. Mkparu is the impassioned and gritty tale of a young man’s struggle to achieve his dreams. Ben Ava is a gifted and intelligent medical student who struggles to pay for his medical studies after his mother dies of a stroke and his father of heartbreak. At his all-time low moment, when he juggles one job with another, struggling to raise money for his education, he receives an unbelievable offer — a hospital in Memphis offers him a scholarship. He jumps at the opportunity, little knowing that it has its own traps and setbacks.

First, the protagonist suffers a breakup with a girlfriend who can’t come to terms with him moving away, but Brenda, a former laboratory partner, is also destined for Memphis. She has her own secrets, with a past that is painful and that catches up with her very often. At the new hospital, things aren’t going to work out the way Ben and Brenda expected, with unscrupulous and wicked doctors. Ben could have persevered through every challenge just to complete his program, but then not everyone wants him there, no matter his resilience. And that is how he finds himself suspended for defending Brenda from abuse by a hospital official. He is homeless and penniless, and unsure of the outcome of the hospital hearing.

This is a really moving story, well-crafted to stir the very center of the emotions of readers. Fidelis O. Mkparu succeeds in making readers fall in love with his protagonist, making Ben very real and believable. I enjoyed the pacing, the gorgeous prose, and the exciting conversations. Tears Before Exaltation is one of those novels that explores the struggles of medical students, and it succinctly captures the drama that takes place behind closed doors in hospitals. A very engaging story!

Gisela Dixon

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O Mkparu is a contemporary fiction novel centering around the life and dreams of a bright young man, Ben Avi. Ben is a medical student, who has had to overcome obstacles and his parents’ death to make it this far, but being a smart student he has a promising future in front of him. Tears Before Exaltation starts off with his meeting with Brenda, his former friend and classmate, but he is shocked to see her present weak and deteriorated condition. Brenda is battling with mental illness and alcoholism among other things. As the story moves on, we also learn about Ben’s feelings for Rita, who works in the hospital. However, things get complicated because of hospital politics and individual power plays, and Ben soon finds himself embroiled in a bitter struggle simply for survival and maintaining his position at the hospital. He even faces homelessness and living on the streets. This is Ben’s story about how he recovers himself and, in the process of mutual give-and-take, finds out deeper truths about himself.

Tears Before Exaltation by Fidelis O Mkparu has an interesting story line and the plot certainly moves at a fast pace. I liked the character portrayals of both Ben and Brenda. I thought that the challenges in each of their lives, although they are so different from each other, are well thought out and well depicted. I especially liked how the topic of depression and mental illness has been addressed in a compassionate way. Ben also comes across as relatable and someone that I felt like rooting for. Overall, the dynamic between all of the characters is brought out excellently and makes this a good read.