Dave Newell's debut novel is an introspective look into the inter-workings of a troubled doctor who is faced with tough choices
Red Lory by Dave Newell is about Douglas who is a small town doctor who finds himself in a large amount of debt. Douglas is caught between two women. Douglas is attracted to his secretary Dare but is compromised by money. The doctor lends his companionship to Mrs. King as her husband lies dying on his deathbed. Douglas finds this arrangement troublesome. It goes against his principles to be spending so much of his time with the proprietress as her husband lies on his sickbed. Guilt and money run through his mind, as the visits to the soon-to-be widower become more and more routine. As his debt grows, Douglas has little choice. Douglas finds himself at a crossroads. Who will he chose: money or will he follow his heart?
The appearance of a beautiful parrot gives reprieve from the dramatic main storyline
In the middle of all of this, is a gorgeous parrot whose beautiful red feathers and sing-songy voice will capture readers’ attention. Hannah, the bird that Douglas purchases out of whim, comes into the doctor’s life like a reprieve from all the stresses and events that go on in his life. As the drama to the story unfolds, the bird comes less of a pet and more of an annoyance. Soon any hindrance in the doctor’s life becomes less of an obstruction as the doctor takes matters into his own hands.
Although nothing happens between Douglas and Dare, their exchanges with each other are loaded with secrets and innuendos. Emitting great sexual tension from their relationship of employer and employee, there seems to be more going on in their relationship than what appears to be on the surface. But much to the disappointment of the reader, none of this gets realized, and we get an ending that is more or less lackluster.
The writing was rather simplistic, only giving the raw backbones to the story. This seemed to serve well for the setting which takes place in a small American town in the 40’s or 50’s.
The story went by fast, but more is left wanting from Douglas and Dare’s relationship. What happened to the doctor in the end and what sort of desserts did Dare get?
All this and more make this story one that needs more background and fleshing out.