Book Review: Gables Court by Alan S. Kessler

Title: Gables Court

Author: Alan S. Kessler

Published: 2018

Pages: 274

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Format: Print copy mailed by the author in exchange for an honest review

My rating: 3/5


Age 24, Samuel Baas is a romantic and virgin who wants love and marriage before sex. After moving from staid New England to the hothouse world of Miami, he falls in love with Kate, the college girl he wants to marry. She isn’t interested in becoming anyone’s little wife. For her, sex is recreational.

A lawyer, Bass represents an accused Nazi war criminal and Haitians who, if deported, face retribution from the murderous Tonton Macoute. Head of a crime family, his father takes a special interest in his son’s legal career. In this complicated world, Baas dates and tries to answer the central question in his life,

“Is love for someone else?”

Loneliness isn’t gender specific nor is alienation just a phase.

Over a span of ten years, Samuel Bass journeys toward intimacy—and his people.


The synopsis definitely makes you want to jump into the story since it is a unique narrative, to say the least. Sure we have the typical “rich” boy who has everything handed to him, however, he does not act like it – rather wanting to step into his own and not depend on his father’s wealth. If he does, on the other hand, it is for the greater good of his friends and to seek justice where inequality and scams are omnipresent. There is also the trope of boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy loses girl. Kessler puts a twist on here that is realistic nonetheless of a guy who tries too hard to find love and keeps going back to comfort and what he knows probably won’t last and will be stuck and square one once again. The quick fast-forward parts throughout the novel add bits of suspense as it comes to relationships and Baas finding his way and what he is passionate about. Kessler opens the book in Baas’ childhood and we find in the last few pages Baas coming full circle to his young at heart passions and interests – beautifully sewed after the complex middle of his adult life for 10 years. Within this self-discovery, Baas immerses himself in aspects of a higher power and leaning into his Jewish roots, especially when in the moral dilemma of defending an accused Nazi war criminal. Baas develops interesting friendships along the way – some last, some don’t, some change over time, while others remain the same. I appreciate the roller coaster of emotional trials and beliefs Baas goes through in order to find his confidence, do what is right, and direct himself on a path that was not laid out for him. Kessler paints an honest narrative of a man who learns as he goes along and challenges norms and himself to become a man he is content with.

Read Gables Court if you like the themes of:

  • Self-Discovery
  • Law (Immigration)
  • Relationships
  • Independence

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