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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
First Consonants is a work of fiction in the social issues and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to mature readers owing to the use of explicit language throughout as well as scenes of physical and sexual violence. Penned by John Whittier Treat, this intense work follows the events of Brian’s life from an early age through to his elderly years. As a child, Brian’s stutter affected his development, leading him down a difficult path where people took advantage of him until he found a violent way to strike back. Years later, Brian desires redemption, but is it all too late?
John Whittier Treat captures an unusual life story with some remarkable twists and thought-provoking points in this highly original novel. One of the things I enjoyed most about it was the narration, which allows us to unpack the web of social, moral, psychological, and emotional influences creating Brian’s persona, but without ever spoon-feeding us or over-telling the drama. The life story of this remarkable protagonist plays out naturally and at a great pace, building and slow-burning to some really surprising and dark turning points, but also balancing these with the possibility of light and hope, even if it might be a struggle to reach for it. First Consonants offers a lot for modern drama fans seeking an accomplished tale that’s unlike anything they’ve ever read before, and I’d certainly recommend it for fans of socially deep and psychologically-minded fiction everywhere.