Verdict: WORTHY OF THIS GREAT CITY is a novel arriving at a timely moment in politics when truth seems to be open to interpretation and one’s political image is everything.
WORTHY OF THIS GREAT CITY is a novel set in Philadelphia. It explores local radio personality, Ruth Askew, whose drive for recognition and acknowledgement possibly aid in bringing disaster to her charismatic, Councilman-At-Large husband, Thom, a politician on his way up.
The story is told from the point of view of reporter and soon-to-be-lawyer, Constantine Manos, often called Con, who is doing a profile on Ruth, while also quietly investigating a possible corruption scandal. The novel follows Ruth, along with a host of other politicians working on a waterfront project, of which previous rejuvenation efforts have failed, either due to political machinations or simple neglect.
Author Mike Miller is quite adept at exploring the politics of Philadelphia. His descriptive details would enable even a first time visitor to navigate the city, though his lengthy accounts sometimes take away from the point of the story. Perhaps this technique of slowly revealing the storyline is an attempt to demonstrate just how muddy politics is, and how difficult it can be to understand the motives of the various players involved. Unfortunately, at times the plot seems lost, by both the sheer number of characters and their descriptions. There are also a few typographical errors that distract from the overall flow of the story.
Eventually, the reader learns that Constantine’s suspicions are justified, and the truth comes out about the project and those criminally involved. Those interested in politics, or Philadelphia and its history, will find the book enlightening. Others may find it a bit tedious and wonder just what the novel’s point is. Perhaps the best way to explain it can be summed up by a bit of Ruth’s dialogue, and may in fact apply to today’s political scene: “America is a country founded on an appreciation of human ignorance.” Whether this sentiment is true or not, one can’t help wonder if her statement is a prophetic vision of our times, or simply a nihilistic way of looking at life and America in modern politics.
WORTHY OF THIS GREAT CITY is a novel arriving at a timely moment in politics when truth seems to be open to interpretation and one’s political image is everything.
~Carlos Perez for IndieReader