Book Jacket

 

rank 34
word count 93214
date submitted 05.11.2010
date updated 29.05.2012
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction
classification: adult
complete

A PLACE IN LIFE

Robert C. Hartstein

A PLACE IN LIFE is a fictional memoir about the life of a boy told through a series of catastrophic events and failed relationships.

 

Young Joe grows up quickly after learning his father won’t be returning from the Korean War. On the same day, his mother is killed by a speeding car. Forced to endure the sterility of New York’s child protective institutions, he is pulled cross-country and finds himself fighting to overcome the old world bigotry of the immigrant family who adopts him.

So begins Joe’s journey. We are led through Joe’s childhood, adolescence, formative years, through Vietnam and beyond. Unsettling yet honest, the story examines a plain spoken love story and complex relationships between a fathers sons. We see Joe experience hardships, both common place and unusual—while the common issues connect us, the unusual situations make this story a unique and compelling read.

Readers will respect Joe for his courage in the face of adversity, be disappointed in his judgment and celebrate his successes. He grows into a complex man, but we come to understand him completely and emphatically.

A Place in Life is an unflinching commentary on the best and the worst that we are capable of, and the tenderness that keep two people together in the face of all odds.


 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

family dysfunction, human drama, mainstream

on 273 watchlists

358 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
Kathryn Ferrier wrote 13 days ago

One major question - they don't sing in Jewish churches? That was funny. I read until the end of the 4th chapter. The beginning was so sad I had to find the uplifting parts. But you know, although Joey had a loving mother to instill the sensation of being accepted, Joey still struggled with acceptance. The 50's through the 70's was a rough time as certain men of the Old World didn't know how to show affection, my own father included. And it DID damage a lot of children. I don't know about Jewish upbringing but it seems their sense of affection was askew due to the traditions of religion. Forgive me if I'm being too bold but your story aroused my thought processes.
Joey did have a difficult time growing up and I hope the affection of a good woman later in life taught him that we can tame the world around us, and make it livable and enjoyable, and we can make this world a better place for the next generation. Especially from the traumas and the mistakes from the people of the Old World.
All the best with your book! It is a great tool for analyzing.
Kathryn

patio wrote 46 days ago

"Spaghetti legs" kids are so harsh. This is a sad but gripping story. Its described as fiction but sound real. That's one of the author strong points. Max star on what I read thus far

PurpleProse wrote 58 days ago

A good read, although painful. The voice of the young boy is compelling and the dialogue works brilliantly. Finding it quite heartrending and sad, rather dreading how it goes on (in a good way). Poor boy,
Poppy, The Day Will Come

Chris 1 wrote 77 days ago

This works very well. It's enjoyable, a good read with intricate details of the life and inner life of a young boy who is orphaned at an early age, is taken into care and eventually adopted by his aunt and uncle who are strict, distant, unengaging.

It reads so well with the amount of personal detail, I was surprised to find it was a 'fictional memoir'. I thought it was for real. That said, it lays out all the pitfalls of being orphaned, a young man making his way through the painful process of getting himself socialised and gaining entrance to his peers' every day lives so he can, at last, begin to lead an approximation of normal life (whatever 'normal' is).

From the get go, it seems his mother's anxieties and her need to keep him wrapped in cotton wool reflect something of the fears she herself picked up having been a 'street urchin' growing up in New York herself, presumably in the 1930s. Her husband, a Marine veteran from WWII, is killed in the Korean War. Then, shortly after hearing the news, the mother herself is killed crossing the street (or was it suicide?).

The moment and method of Joey being taken into care is heartrending, that moment he reaches for Hotchman the neighbour and she turns away from him. How can the reader feel anything other than sadness for him?

Just as he begins to find his feet at the orphanage, he is farmed out to his mother's brother and his wife (except there's apparent tension here because the uncle let's slip 'she wasn't my sister'). Again , there's no real love in their family and Joey is treated like a lodger who has to earn his keep when he yearns to make friends. His only outlet is social life at school. It's a tough time to grow up in Eisenhower's 1950s America, the grey conformity.

At this point - chapter three or four, I decided to skip ahead because I knew the '60s were just around the corner.

I found Joey had enlisted to be a Marine and he was in Vietnam. He sees some action and is wounded. His enrolment, induction and training for the Marines made me think his whole life had prepared him for that moment - he had only ever known institutions, and stunted relationships, the way his mother had kept him indoors, the orphanage, his uncle and aunt practically holding him hostage, school, and finally the Marines...what must all of this have done to him as a person, for his personal growth?

This all contributed to making this story all the more sad, in a way, and interesting.

My only suggestion would be how to make it even better.

I would suggest a change to format. I have no criticism, other than positive, for the writing style. For me, it's the format. Okay, it's a memoir, fictional yes, but still a memoir, a life story. But that doesn't mean it has to be a linear story where it starts at the beginning and works it's way forward in chronological order.

I think you would make it an even better read if you mixed up the format a little. Only a suggestion.

I would open the book with him in action in Vietnam just as he is wounded. I think this would make it so much more exciting and be a much stronger hook for the reader. He can then be found recovering in bed in chapter two, reviewing how he got there, once again left to his own devices and ruminating about the close call he's just had and then starts evaluating his life. You could then alternate it with a couple of chapters of flashbacks to the earlier chapters at a time and counterpose them by following his progression after he returns from Vietnam jumping back and forth from past to present etc. you get the picture.

It's only my opinion, but I honestly do believe by simply rearranging the chapters and, with a little extra re-writing to show how he begins to drift mentally back in time etc (maybe his old 'imaginary friend' contacts him under the effects of anaesthetic' for the start of the firstb flashback?), you could certainly strengthen what is essentially a powerful piece of work. You've done the spade work, you've got the raw material, for me, it's just a case of rearranging and a little re-jigging. I think it will make a great difference between a good book and a great book.

For the excellent work you've done already, I'm backing this, and for potential alone, I'm certainly backing this!

Iva P. wrote 79 days ago

A Place in Life is a gem. I went through a range of emotions from the very beginning and managed six chapters before bedtime. To my knowledge, there is nothing to improve this very sensitive biography. Wonderful work that deserves a place at the top.
Iva
P.S. A pair of running shoes for 100.00 dollars in the sixties? That's a bit steep for the time. (My only objection to the read.)

Andrew Perez wrote 96 days ago

Powerful writing voice and well written. Backed!

Annabel Watkinson wrote 113 days ago

Bob, This is really well written and I found the first two chapters quite heart-breaking. You convey the feelings and thoughts of a child so well - the confusion that comes with not undersatnding when adults assume that you do, and the comfort of imagination. I hope there are some happier times in store for your protagonist!

I didn't even find any nitpicks, maybe I was too absorbed.

All in all, great work, and lots of stars from me. Keeping it on my WL.
Thanks for a worthwhile read,
Annabel.

Brendie wrote 123 days ago

Bob, I love this story. Your style of writing is easy and I read right through to chapter four without even noticing it. For some reason I can relate totally with the lonely boy on the fire escape looking down on the kids below, wishing he could join then -which is odd because I came from a large Irish family of eight kids ... So I put it down to your heartfelt descriptions that capture the emotions so very well. Reading the other reviews, I agree that there are areas that could be tweaked to accomodate individual tastes, but my honest advice would be: don't change a thing. This is your story, and it's perfect ... well done.
Brendan

sensual elle wrote 185 days ago

Experts advise heaping troubles and difficulties onto your hero and when it doesn't seem possible he'll make it, you dump more on him. Whew! This the author does in spades as our young protagonist experiences the loss of both parents, taken into custody by the state, bullying, and adoption by a couple who don't seem to have a clue. Whew! Backed of course.

Seringapatam wrote 418 days ago

Bob, Very good indeed and I can see why this has published already. I think this had a good future. You must get on here and push it right to the top. Its a shame you have put this kind of effort into it and it is so good as it is. You have a good flow to your voice and a brilliant book.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you?? Many thanks. Sean

Abby Vandiver wrote 553 days ago

This is a good story but it moves slowly. The first chapter was written well, but I do think that it needed to pull at the heart string a little more. I was sad but didn't cry. Although, I offer this critique, I don't know quite how you would do it, so take that suggestion with a grain of salt.

I also think that this would do well with a bit more dialogue so that we get to know the characters better. Overall, I like the story. Good job.

Abby

Neil Peters wrote 582 days ago


Robert
A fantasy book that take you on a journey of life, the writing could not be any better, I was dragged into the story, this is a book I would keep in my book case so I could read it again at a later date, very well done.
Neil

Christine May wrote 592 days ago

I am glad I found your book, it is a heart wrenching story that is very well written.
I like the time period.
Look forward to reading more.
Christine
"Five Short Stories with a twist"

justpete wrote 593 days ago

Bob,
Someone once told me, the best book to read is one you cannot put down, with this book that’s what I got, when I started reading it, it pulled me into the story in a way that hasn’t happened in such a long time, so much so that after finishing the book I had a regret of not having met Sara, it’s very hard for a writer to explain the feelings, the bonds between a man and a woman, and even more so for a male writer, but I have to admit that is exactly what you did with this, all I can do is offer you my congratulations, not only on a great read, but also for being able to give me such an understanding of the life’s in the story. This book for me was not only a journey with through the life of Joe, but it was also a rollercoaster of emotions, a brilliant read from start to finish.

Regards Peter

Mrs. A wrote 630 days ago

Chapter 20: And the tears continue....I'm truly moved

Mrs. A wrote 630 days ago

I'm at chapter 15, Bob, and I'm in tears. This is such a loving story. "I turned an looked at Sara for what seemed like a long time. 'Yes Father, I do'." I just feel the love transcending from the screen and I want to go hug & kiss my husband. I have been moved many times throughout this story. I even recounted the time Joe first moved to the beach and spent all his money in haste - to my 14 y/o daughter. What a great lesson - you were humbled and motivated by your hunger to survive. I'm not much of a literary critic. I judge my likes and dislikes by how the writer moves my emotions. If I'm meant to be pissed off then I want to be pissed off. Yep, had that emotion, too, when you wrote about Joe's (your?) parents' lack of tolerance and acceptance of our changing world. Let me keep reading.....good stuff.

Laura Markovitch wrote 656 days ago

Robert,
I have read Chapter One, and I do have a few questions. Towards the end of the chapter, the strange woman who was taking Joey away spoke once to him and then, "She never spoke another word to me." I wasn't sure if you meant that day, or ever. Do we learn who she was later? Also, just before that scene, Mrs. Hotchman asks Joey to get dressed. There is a typo - she says, "There are some people who want too talk to us." Too is used instead of to.
I am interested in where you are going with the narrative, so I plan to read on.
If you can, I'd love for you to take a look at mine as well: The Waiting Room
Thanks,
Laura Markovitch

Carolineesin wrote 708 days ago

Compelling story and beautifully written. Will definitely do well. Well one so far

dmh77 wrote 711 days ago

An interesting read. Feels like now and again you sometimes reveal the event before it’s about to happen. I will continue to read. thanks

GODSPOET wrote 717 days ago

hi bOB,
I want to thank you for inviting me to read your book. Unfortunately I am not into war episodes even though I have some family members who are in the Military. I am the type that doesn't like death nor violence or seperation. I couldn't get into the sences. But I know there are many who will enjoy your book. I mainly like Non-fiction. Best wishes and God bless.

Victoria

Lena M. Pate wrote 717 days ago

The story is very interesting and compels the reader to continue. I have only read a few chapters but I do get the sense that I am almost reading someones diary. I think there needs to be more show then tell though. The characters are there but they are almost one dimensional. I love the details of the storyline but I feel there should be more imagery for me to get a sense of the environment in which it is staged. I look forward to reading more of it though.

Emma B wrote 721 days ago

Hi, i have taken some time reading this and really enjoyed it. I understand how your mother felt, so protective of you, i feel the same about my children, whether they like it or not. Really well described.
You go on to say you don't really remember her, so maybe this is for her and as i keep reading, somewhere along the way you'll be able to say goodbye. It makes me sad that everything changed for you. Really can feel the isolation you felt. great writing.
Emma

Barburo wrote 723 days ago

Yes I think your story is enticing and well written, particularly moving from the child you were's perspective!

ellenwhiteowl wrote 724 days ago

Like what I have read so far. I cannot get Chapter 11 to load. I will try again another day. Other books await me!

patio wrote 725 days ago

"Hey Spaghetti Legs". That's mean. I wonder where those bullies now.

Aww...your mother vanished. That's triggered a tsunami of tears. "nobody told me what happened to mother, just that she wasn't coming home". I feel pity for you.

I'm still reading....
gripping story

happyscribbler wrote 726 days ago

Oh my God, Bob! I only read the first 3 chapters and I had the same feeling I always do when reading a memoir about a difficult childhood; I wanted to put it away and not think about it, yet at the same time I knew I had to continue because I needed to know that everything was going to turn out okay. When you write about your mother going out and never coming back I had a tear in my eye. The way you described how she wanted to protect you from the kids on the street really struck a chord with me. Since having children myself I find myself wanting to protect them from everything, and I could see that in the way you described your mother. The thought of not being there to take care of your children is unbearable.
I think I'm trying to say that I loved it. You deserve to be published. I will read the rest of it, I just had to stop to let you know what I thought.
Good luck.
Rated and ready for my bookshelf in May.
Sarah xxx

Tom Bye wrote 726 days ago

hello Robert-
book - A Place in Life-

I had read some chapters of this very good book, some 379 days ago now-
Glad to see that it is now high in the rankings, and thoroughly deserved-
I had found it to be an absorbing and engrossing story and nothing has changed my mind after reading some
more now- in fact it mellows and becomes heart-warming , and perhaps a bit sad-
it has what it takes to reach the editors desk, that's for sure-
and I wish you good luck with it Robert-

tom bye
book -from hugs to kisses-

happyscribbler wrote 726 days ago

Hi Robert, I saw you in the homepage and thought your book sounded like my sort of read. I've added it to my watchlist and will read and comment tonight ( when kids are in bed!) I also noticed that in your profile you listed 'Bird by Bird' as one of your favourite reads. This pleased me, as it is one of mine too and its not something I've heard mentioned very often.
Like I said, I will read your work tonight and comment :)
Sarah x
Song of the Siren

Mule wrote 729 days ago

Old Bob,
Great writing! The language is accessible and moves easily from one sentence to another, one paragraph to another. You successfully paint a crisp portrait of Joey's world, able to draw me in to understand how traumatic those events must have been for him. The chapter feels full and satisfying, a solid chunk of information that weights the memoir to come. I'm excited to read more!

Mule

Adeel wrote 734 days ago

An amusing, descriptive and well written book. Your writing style is very impressive, dialogue are realistic with vivid charachters and narrative is at great pace. Highly rated.

Thomas C. wrote 737 days ago

Hi Bob, I have read through chapter 1, and I have to tell you this story is very intriguing and touching. I can see the bone of great story forming and it pulls me in. Joey is very believable and I enjoy the experience through his eyes. The loss of life at that age is a surreal thing, and his reaction and innocense feels real to me.I have placed "A PLACE IN LIFE" on my watchlist and I will be returning. You got me interested.
Good Job and Thanks for allowing me to read.

Thomas C.

Rainbow Tiger wrote 739 days ago

I like reading this sort of book. I am not a writer (yet) but I am the audience who feeds you all. lol. I like reading about how other people have lived. Keep up the good work.

R.Swain wrote 739 days ago

I have just read through the first chapter; I have to say -like many of the books I've ended up to love- I had to re-read over the first few paragraphs at the beginning, just because I couldn't really get into it. But after getting past that I can say I'm very interested to read the rest. I particularly like the way you described his past, It's has the short child like sentences but written in a way that really helps me imagine that I'm being told a memory rather than listening to a child tell me a story. I will give some more feedback once I've read more :)

fatmogul wrote 740 days ago

I only made it through the first chapter, but you have piqued my interest. The voice of the narrator comes off clearly, while also attached to the main character. It definitely has the feel of a memoir. It actually makes me think of The Neon Bible, although the subject matter isn't all that similar.
Good luck, I'll check out more when I get the time.

ceejezoid wrote 742 days ago

Just one chapter for now (work to be getting to *sighs*) but I'll definitely be back.

I would probably pick this up based on the burb, and from skimming through the first few pages i.e. this chapter! Your writing is fluid and the New York dialogue in this chapter felt authentic. I like to watch what I'm reading like a little movie in my head, and this allowed me to do that. Not too much extraneous description, just enough to let me build a picture in my head. Yay! I would usually want a bit more about environment, probably a personal thing, but I'm aware that this is not going to be the main setting for the novel so I am waiting in anticipaton for more.!

Ms. J wrote 742 days ago

Bob,
I finished your book this afternoon, and I wanted to make a few more comments on it.

Great description of the first dead American body he saw. That was gripping.
I wanted to slap his adopted parents.

Sara's death scene was sad. Also, I found his intentional harming of himself was an interesting reaction to her death. I did like how her presence was still felt.

Overall, your narrator has an authentic voice. At each new phase of his life he struggles to find where he fits in. It's a good book that many readers can identify with.

Thank you for allowing me to read it,
Ms. J

Tiara wrote 745 days ago

Hi Bob,

I really like this. I like your delivery. I like the way the single pace reflects the flatness of Joey's life. I like the way that you relay the way he sees things, in particular the way in which adults never used to involve children in matters that concerned them. One of my favourite parts (and I'm only at Chapter four so far), is where Joey thinks they've gone to church when they are in the Court room.

I do have a couple of observations for you to do with as you will -

- I agree with one of the comments below that you sometimes inadvertently reveal beforehand what is about to happen. Given that so much of Joey's experience of life centres on him not understanding what's going on around him and not being told, I think this acts like a spoiler to the discovery. One example is where you tell us that Joey is going to live in California and then reveal it to us in the conversation between Joey and Mrs Milling. It would be so much more powerful, in my opinion, if we just found out from that conversation; it would put us squarely in Joey's shoes.
- in chapter three, you start by describing the daily chores Joey is assigned but you use the expression 'for example' and it jars against the general tone. Could you say something like 'One of my chores, was to...'?

The only other thing is the speed with which Joey is suddenly referring to his Aunt and Uncle as his mother and father. It made me stop and go back to check about whom I was reading. Given that he didn't recognise that he was being adopted, I wonder whether he would so easily have switched to thinking of Aunty Frita as mother? And if he did, could you ease us into this some how?

Anyway, this is a really different read. I have no idea where it is going yet but I want to find out. I'm going to star it accordingly and find time to read more.

Tiara.

Sandra-Jane Goddard
The Worst Of Lies

Ms. J wrote 748 days ago

Great start. Your dialog is especially authentic.
I'm in teacher mode, so pardon my opinions. There were a couple of places where I notices some mechanical errors. Not all of your compound sentences have the needed comma. Mrs. Hotchman had her back, is one example. I also noticed a capitalization error in the dialog... I asked her straight out.

Emotionally I am connecting to this character. Perhaps it is because I have a five year old boy. I do want to keep reading, and I will.

After reading the second chapter, I am really finding your characters authentic. It comes through in the small things like how Joey misses his toys. You've got good depth to these characters!

Thanks for the suggestion!
Ms. J

Update: I've read through chapter nine. I do wish you'd have more dialog. You're so good at it!

T-browne wrote 749 days ago

Hey Robert....

A lot of feeling! Captures the imagination. Easy to flow with, and to lose oneself in. Good. Well good.
Just got as far as chapter two....will get back to the rest shortly....gotta get to bloody work!!

Best regards...and thanks for the greeting!!!!!

T-browne.

Atieno wrote 750 days ago

HI Robert,
No doubt this is a lovely book! It brought me to tears many time. I read to chapter four, a fete I can say I have bestowed very few books and am glad I did not get dissappointed. This a beautifully emotional trapping book. Am really glad you have this one here. When Joey started liking girls then I started to smile an laugh.
Well done and good luck.
Josphine
Notime goes bye

R.J. Stanley wrote 750 days ago

Hi Bob,

Thanks so much for adding me to your bookshelf!! :-)

RJ Stanley

Miranda.Brown wrote 754 days ago

Hi Bob. I read the first few chapters of your book and I think it is fantastic and it can really pull on the heart strings. I love it.

Efioanwan "Fifi" Edem wrote 755 days ago

Hi Robert, you have so many comments, I'm probably not going to say anything new but I'll just give you my own thoughts. Also, I don't think telling you how wonderful it all is will help a lot (although it most definitely is) so I'll only share what I think will help you improve on it. I have only read chapter one (all I can read for now, unfortunately) so this doesn't go for the whole book:

The story itself is a great one and you seem to have the whole thing figured out from the start. I usually don't, so you can understand my awe. The first person narration fits the story and the genre too, but I had a problem with believing the narrator after a while. You see, you begin with the words "Nobody told me what had happened to my mother . . . " but then midway into the story you claim she was hit by a car. Did you see it happen or what? I feel there is a narrative gap there.

Second thing I note about the narrative is that you tend to give away bits even before they happen. Like this one: "She bolted off the sidewalk between parked cars trying to cross the street (by the way, this means that the cars were trying to cross the street!), she never came back." This comes before the morning when the child actually discovered that she never came back. In my opinion, you need to have a story map and follow through gradually.

You'll see the same situation in the following scene: "I cried so hard, I must have passed out because I don't remember much after that." whereas two sentences later is when he actually passed out.

Finally, I was trying to guess at the age of the narrator at the time of telling the story and I found this hard. The voice is that of a very young person, of course, but then it sounds too naive and too young to know things like Hotchman's immigrant status so well. I think the line is a bit blurred with that. Either the narrator is a very young boy, in which case the voice so far fits (but be careful about things like the one I've just highlighted), or he is now somewhat grownup and must sound like one, especially one who is now 'seasoned' by all the hardship I can imagine he faced in the chapters that follow.

The problem seems to be the restrictions that come with using the first person POV. You must work hard to create a believable character and you must do a lot of subliminal explanation for what he knows and how come he knows it, especially things about other people.

Having said all these tough things, I must add that the story is really captivating and you are a superb storyteller. I don't want to sound sadistic but perhaps this boy's mother dying was the best thing to happen to him. With her over-protectiveness, I can imagine a worse fate for him and for your story - you could have been writing a thriller with a serial killer damaged from childhood as your central character!

Robert Hinch wrote 755 days ago


Hi Bob.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read your book. I read through the first 10 chapters.
I was immediately drawn in to the book and felt compelled to continue reading- which is a fundamentally good sign IMO. I can see the passion in your writing.
I do agree with Caroline 84's comment that you are telling the reader about the characters emotions rather than building a mood and letting the reader feel the emotions. Perhaps you could spend some time building up the scenario and mood and let the reader figure out the message rather than telling them.
I'd also like to see some treatment of Joe adoptive parents to get their perspective. You mention it once in the first 10 chapters but don't explore the context of the cirumstance and how it affects Joey and how he responds. A balanced treatment could be even more powerful i delivering the message.
Regards
Rob

jlbwye wrote 756 days ago

A Place in Life. More stars for such a sensitive, excellent book, Bill.

Jane (Breath of Africa)

SaeraWrites wrote 756 days ago

I find your book really interesting because of the true life glimpse into that world you grew up in. I like the simplicity of your writing, saying it just as it was. There might be a few editing tidbits here and there, but all in all, I find it a good read, and will continue on, though I did not want to skim but read the first part entirely...and will continue, I really like your book. already the characters have come to life for me. Keep writing, I love the story, love your style of writing too!

SaeraWrites wrote 756 days ago

Hi, and I have just read this synopsis, and find it interesting and will continue taking time day to day to read more.
I like the real life story type of reading sometimes, and this sounds as if a lifetime from beginning to end will be seen and felt through Joe's life, and though I need to upload soon this week, I love having a chance to see what other's write, besides, I love reading, so many talented people, and so far, you have caught my interest in your story. Great characters, and thanks again for welcoming me, so very kind of you;)

thisischiqui wrote 756 days ago

Hi! So I skimmed through this chapter and one of the things that really confused me is the narration. One of the passages I recall right now that confused me was when Joey was talking about how his mother ran out of the house and never came back, whereas in the few paragraphs before that, all that was mentioned was him hearing the screeching of cars. It just made me wonder what Joey really saw.

I can't quite picture the neighborhood and only got where he was staying when you mentioned that Joey lived in a New York city slum. I would have liked a bit more description, especially since I'm from another country and have never set foot in NY, and have little to no idea how NY slums are supposed to look like (aside from what they show in movies or TV shows, I suppose).

I'm also not really sure when the conversation between Joey and his mom in the first couple of paragraphs took place relative to what happened in the succeeding paragraphs.

And now! On to the good stuff! I really like Joey; I find him cute, especially when he played that game with Mrs. Hotchman. I also find his mother interesting, how she tried to keep him safe from other kids because she didn't know how else to protect him. I actually really liked his mom as a character, though I disagree with her upbringing of him, haha! I think that's what makes her real, more human. For someone who's only been in one chapter, she's been surprisingly fleshed out.

That's all I can think of for now. My suggestion is to work more on the narration so it is less confusing, and add a bit more description to get a better feel of the environment where Joey lived (how does it smell? what are its dominant colors? what can be heard?).

And keep up the good work on the characters!

Thanks again for welcoming me! :)

Kerrie Price wrote 757 days ago

Hi Robert,
Joey's story is down-to-earth, real and simply expressed. I think you have written well. Many people could identify with this sad, lonely child. For people of compassion, it is a story far too common, especially where so many adults have no idea how to communicate with children. It is written in the form of a memoir and would attract an audience on that level.

Pam S. wrote 758 days ago

Wow! You made cry! It made me remember when my father died. I am going to have to wait to read chapter 2.