Monarchs and Mendicants by Dan Groat

There is always a lot to be said about books that talks about different disciplines and principles in life. Monarchs and Mendicants is one of the suspense book I’ve read that will surely stay in my head for a long time.
What The Book Is About

Gifford Ulrich (Frog) served in Afghanistan and is suffering from PTSD and is back in the country with an emotional baggage he wanted concealed. He’s aloof and likes to operate on his own, and he chooses not to care about other people and what goes around him. But as he ended up in the streets and is forced to mingle with other street men, he discovers that, as much as he’d like to be indifferent towards the people and things around him, his heart just won’t allow him to do so.

What I Think

It felt like I was reading a John Grisham book for a moment. There were lots of questions and I kept guessing ’till the last few pages. Maybe I’ve been reading too much romance recently that I almost forgot the thrill and excitement brought about by the suspense books I used to read when I was in college. Gifford Ulrich is a complete mystery in the beginning – I kept wondering how he ended up in the streets despite being in the military prior to that. Although I should say that his decision not to trust anyone, or even to care for anyone makes total sense. As a man coming from the war, he sure has experienced many painful losses, and they are not going to be as painful if he were not emotionally attached to the ones he lost. But then I guess caring and compassion for other people is human nature. Gifford slowly began to care about the other street men around him. Add the fact that the new guy Stephen talked to him about it.

I like the fact that I was able to highlight several quotes in this book, which only means it gave me a lot thoughts to ponder on. Also, the presence of Father Michael’s character is quite interesting. He became the hope of the street men who had nothing, as well as those who had something to share. The presence of a priest in the middle of a chaotic place of Benoit that was almost hell signifies heaven’s mercy and is always present even in the middle of tragedy.

Though there were some parts that invited my eyelids to feel heavy (especially when it’s Edward talking, bit I’ve learned to love his character), I sure enjoyed this read, and I won’t recommend it for a quick read. Monarchs and Mendicants is that book that will give anyone to reflect on what humanity is all about.


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