"The Donut and the Hole" is a compelling novel about growth, self-awareness, and maintaining a strong commitment to your values. William Harrington prioritized pursuing a career that would bring him happiness – not a career that would please his father. His father, Greyson Harrington, was a successful real estate developer who did not have high ethical standards and took advantage of unsuspecting Long Island potato farmers during the post-World War II era. When William refused his father's offer to join the family business – he chose to pursue a teaching career that spanned over 45 years.
His unique style of promoting classroom discussions on the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, the Vietnam War, the American Indian, the United States Presidents, and his inspirational advice to his high school juniors, earned him the accolade … "he was the best teacher I ever had."
William pursued a teaching career because it brought him happiness. Throughout the novel, readers will come to understand that at the end of the day, life is about choices – and these choices need to be made in accordance with who we are and who we want to be. Sometimes the best decisions are the most difficult ones to make, but are the most gratifying.
While William went on to flourish in his career educating future generations, a rift developed between him and his father. His father never came to fully accept William's decision, and could not overcome his son's decision to pave his own way. This captivating novel serves as an ever-present reminder that doing what is right is not without consequences – but it is certainly worthwhile in the end.