Review by Marlene Engel
Everyone has an opinion when they see a homeless person sleeping on the streets or panhandling for money, but not everyone takes the time to learn their story. Judith had always avoided these people. A New York transplant, she wasn’t accustomed to associating with people who weren’t like her. But when she witnesses a scene between a homeless woman and two security guards outside the Hearst building, there’s something about the woman that captures Judith’s attention. She’s not sure if it’s the interesting accent that she has or the pretty features she senses is beneath the filth and grime that covers her.
Over the next couple years, Judith befriends and learns a lot about this homeless woman, Michelle. Previously a beauty queen in Italy, Michelle made her way to the states when an American photographer convinced her that fame and fortune awaited her. The harsh reality hit when her love of drugs and alcohol stripped away any chance of living the “American Dream” and instead landed her on the streets. For almost a decade she lived like this until Judith learned of her deteriorating health and set out on a mission to get her back to her family in Italy. Her family was unaware of the lifestyle that Michelle was living in New York and she was too embarrassed to allow them to see the broken, fragile, sick woman she had become. Judith knew that Michelle would die on the streets of New York if she didn’t intervene, but the biggest obstacle she had to face was Michelle’s addiction. Her love of drinking had brought her to this dark place. A place where she had no home and where her body was quickly starting to rebel. Judith was willing to do all she could to help this woman, but was Michelle willing to accept it?
The Street or Me is a raw, uncensored view of the homeless population in New York, the stereotypes that come along with it, and the struggles that they face. Judith Glynn is not only the author, she is the person who put aside her life and safety to help a perfect stranger. Her devotion, love and support for a fellow human being is not only inspirational, but renews my faith in the human race. This book will bring you through so many emotions, but will leave you with a sense of pride that there are such selfless people in this world such as Judith.
I could not put this book down. I was captivated by not only the story, but the people who lived these lives. This is an absolute must read! Such a powerful story of life, loss, family and friendship! If you read only one book this year, this is the one!
About the Author:
Judith Glynn never intended to become a dedicated writer when she chose a nighttime creative-writing class over belly dancing. She simply wanted a distraction from her disintegrating marriage. Her first assignment – Confidence. That’s all You Need in Life – received a D. But her passion for the craft ignited her soul and innate talent, enough to take her on a successful writing journey for three decades and counting.
Her travel-writing specialty surfaced after a trip to Ireland and subsequent publication inThe Washington Post. That and numerous articles led to a five-year, monthly shopping column in The Chicago Sun Times and other newspapers. Spain eventually became a focus and where her discerning writer’s eye captured the local flavor. However, after hours logged in flight and new destinations produced only a nonchalant shrug, she closed her notebook to build a successful entrepreneurial career in New York City. But she still wrote because life wasn’t complete without writing a story – if only for herself.
When her need to write travel surfaced again, she hit the road to write for the Web. She also knew the time had arrived to tackle a novel. A Collector of Affections: Tales from Woman’s Heart entwines fiction with travelers’ secrets.
Connect with the author at:
Judith is generously giving 2 lucky winners signed copies of both of her books:
The Street or Me: A New York Story
A Collector of Affections: Tales from a Woman's Heart