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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Delaware is going to the dogs. The tides at Rehoboth Beach continue to increase each year, threatening this tourist attraction with oblivion. Meanwhile, the Kristina Mall, Delaware’s shopping landmark, is falling from economic grace and is symptomatic of retail decline. People are blaming it on an inadvertent redistribution of assets. University students Juneau and Victor witness the economic decay unfolding around them. Refusing to sit and do nothing, Juneau and Victor assume a Marx and Engels crusade by coming up with their own communist manifesto—to establish an independent Delaware that is totally autonomous from American capitalism. While it has provoked intense scrutiny and different reactions, the DuFrond company is willing to ride along to advance their own interests. Juneau and Victor’s movement will yield outcomes that are not to their liking, and they will embark on a pilgrimage within their home state for a spiritual journey, with Victor discovering romantic love. This is the story of Matthew Anderson’s Love in Doom and Secession.
Matthew Anderson is a high-caliber word painter. He makes his prose a canvas that is rich in history, dreams, love, and memories. There is nothing more shocking than when Juneau and Victor’s well-intentioned plans backfire and the DuFrond company installs a dictator who favors large companies and exploits the American proletariat. The romance that blossoms between Victor and the Israeli soldier Raphael provides a layer of insulation for Victor as a character. It is a layer that he is unsure of at the beginning, as he is still struggling to accept what Delaware has become. Their relationship becomes convincing as they find common ground upon exchanging comparative ideas between their respective countries. I cannot help but think of the feasibility of this novel’s premise happening in real life, considering that we are now witnessing how a global pandemic is shifting the tides of the global economy. For that thought alone, Love in Doom and Secession is an intelligent novel that we can all learn something from.