David Adams Richards likes to drag his readers in out of scenarios, sometimes repeating ideas, until they are hooked into his masterful weave. He demonstrates that life is made up of incestuous circles, and that not all are as ‘principled’ as they would like to think.
Principles To Live By centers around the mystery of two missing children – one, the son of the main character, John Delano, and the other a foster child, whose absence is not noted for many years.
Delano, disliked by most, has an uncanny ability to get to the core of matters. He is haunted by his failures, all of which are revisited in this clever tale and help him solve both mysteries.
It always takes me a bit to get adjusted to the writing style of David Adams Richards (I have taught his novel, Mercy Among The Children, to senior English classes) but once I begin to appreciate the brilliance of his storytelling, I am able to fully immerse myself in the richness of his characters, and the insights on human nature this author skillfully portrays.