Review: “An important story to read”

This is why I write this series, reactions like this one:

“Box of Rain is an important story for us to read. It’s an inside view of life unfolding in the shadows of our world, providing a new perspective about the challenges good people face trying to survive and live in spite of the circumstances they were born into. The odds are usually against them. Heck, society and even their own kind are usually against them, but still some of them take every ounce of courage and every bit of energy they have to fight against the odds and break the cycle in the hopes of changing their lives for the better.”

BOX OF RAIN: another STREET STORIES suspense novel

MJ

I am so blown away by M.J. Joachim’s comments in her Box of Rain review that I can’t pick only some of her post to quote and had to paste the whole thing. But I do encourage you to visit her site. She has a lot of great content you’d enjoy.

“Capturing a sense of reality in the dangerous prospect of living on the street, engaging in the abstract sense of hope through a sense of safety confounded by betrayal, Box of Rain stimulates and intensifies a journey saddened by hardship, lies and futility. It’s not easy breaking the cycle of negative circumstances and situations in one’s life. Even when one works confoundedly hard to do just that, life has a way of ripping the rug out from under you.

Surviving is not the same thing as living. Life on the street, in gangs, bouncing from foster home to…

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Looking For a Reason

EHAn essay I wrote quite a while ago has been published on the Effectively Human website.  It’s a piece about a young man I knew when I was volunteering, one that I often think about and hope he is doing well.  It still breaks my heart to think he might not be.

Here’s a small piece of it but I hope you will click through to read the rest.

Maybe the question I need to answer is not what went wrong, but what might go wrong. How long before the young boy’s eyes in the young man’s face grow cold? Will the day come when he will look at me with a glazed gaze: wild, cruel, daring someone for a reason to vent his anger and frustration at what he has become? He will sit on our stained blue couch and I will mix hot cocoa for him, or maybe pour coffee, extra cream and extra sugar. He will stuff packages of cookies in his pockets and ask if we have any clean socks, any hygiene kits, any sandwiches, any more coffee. Anything? The dark hair will be streaked with gray, the zipper on his coat will not quite close and he will carry a plastic shopping bag with the corner of a frayed airline blanket poking out from its tightly packed interior.

If this is Eric’s future, will I find courage enough then to look past his rage to find the human being inside? Will there be one there? Which would be the worst case scenario: a cardboard box or a coffin?

A cardboard box, and then a coffin?

No, I think. The worst case scenario would be not looking for the human being. If I stop looking, if everyone stops looking, the human being dies while the body continues to breathe. And the little boy in the church pew, the face he makes as he tugs at his tight top shirt button, the wide-eyed dream of someday drawing comic books, or pitching for the Yankees, or winning the Indy 500, dies also.

via Effectively Human: Homelessness, The Night Ministry in Chicago and A Reason to Care.