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
I do believe every homeless person has a story. My husband's father spent years living on the streets or in homeless shelters until we got a call from a social worker from a hospital. He lost contact with his father many years prior because the wife had told him make a choice, he could have her (the wife) or his son. He chose his wife. This is a man who was a millionaire back in the 80s and lived life in the biggest way possible. The wife took all of his money when they divorced (what was left after she made him buy her everything possible and took her on trips). So, when he got the call that day from the hospital, he didn't believe it was the right man. We had to go see him to make sure it was. He had been beat up really bad at a shelter. So, my husband had a couple years to make up for lost time (before he died) after they got him in a nursing home. He still can't believe he ended up homeless. It just shows anything can happen to anyone.ReplyDelete
Wow, Janine. What a story. A book could be written about your husband's father.Delete
I definitely recommend this book. It's such a powerful, raw depiction of life on the streets and a good Samaritan who took time out of her own life to help another's.
Hi Janine, Homelessness, addiction and bad times can happen to anyone. Someone wrote to me that we're all one gene away, especially for an addiction. Thank you for sharing your story that instantly became part of mine. I'm happy your husband and his father had a chance to renew their bond. No one should die alone with regrets.ReplyDelete
He did have a great story, though sad in the end. He tried to contact Russ once after he lost his money and was in a state mental hospital from trying to kill himself. When he asked Russ for money, the call ended. He didn't know why he would ask when he had so much. Him and his father had a very rocky relationship. It was just such a shock when we found out what had happened to him. After hearing his story, I do believe homelessness can happen to anyone. My last job was run by a man who helped homeless men from a shelter. When they got past their addictions (if they had them), he would bring them to work in the shop. There were so many success stories through that company. The ones who failed were heartbreaking including one guy that I had become very good friends with. His life prior to that was filled with drug use and street gangs. His brother worked there also and when he didn't show up to work one day, I asked where he was. I was told he slipped back. He refused anyone's help. I still wonder what happened to him. Hopefully he got his life together again.ReplyDelete
A very original therme!ReplyDelete