The Citadel by A J Cronin is one of the best books that I have read in my life. I remember one of my friends saying that he will not read this book because he don’t want to break his high expectations about Cronin after reading The Keys of the Kingdom. But now I can go ahead and recommend this book to him.
Dr Andrew Mason is a poor doctor and newly out of medical college. His first assignment is to be an assistant to Dr Page in Driffney. Andrew finds himself in charge of the whole Dr Page’s patients because as Dr Page has recently become an invalid with no hope for cure. Miss Page, the sister of the ailing doctor doesn’t think twice before demanding a share of Dr Andrew Mason’s hard work. This is his first encounter with unethical behaviour which disturbs him a lot. He falls in love with Christine a school madam and eventually marries her.
Dr Andrew is forced to leave Driffney under unfavourable conditions. He moves to Aberalaw where he works hard with miners to prove that silicosis is an industrial disease. Dr Andrew looks forward to do a lot of research on lung related diseases with total support from Christine. But things change very soon.Andrew is caught in the world of money when he gets a few private practises when he moves to London. His ambition changes into becoming one of the highly paid doctors in London and he compromises his moral values and even start to support unethical behaviors to get more money out of totally healthy patients.Christine is very much disturbed by this change in Dr Andrew, but she finds herself helpless in convincing Andrew. So who will win in the end? Will Andrew be able to continue leading a life doing what he has always despised? How much long can Christine wait for her old Andrew to come into his senses?
This book is one of the best books that I have read in my life and I have become a hard core fan of A J Cronin. I have read four of his books including this book – Shannon’s Way, The Northern Light, The Keys of the Kingdom. I had to acquire each of this book from second hand book shops in Bangalore, but all the effort was worth it.A J Cronin writes stories about true love, honesty, hard work, compassion, religion etc and about people who lived in the early 1900s especially in the medical field as he was a physician himself. The Citadel was published in the year 1937.
If you like to read a good story with a good moral, something which will inspire you a lot, you must read one of the novels by A J Cronin. One other best quality associated with his books is that his characters are very human. They are common people, many times so poor that they have to worry about daily food, they all have their own weaknesses, they all yearn for true love, and they all have to try hard to get the successes in their lives.
On a final note, grab a Cronin book if ever you get a chance and see how great a writer was he…Would love to know if anyone else feels the same about Cronin books
Source : Second hand copy
Other Books by A J Cronin
Links to Buy:
Image Courtesy : Goodreads.com