Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Have You Found Her by Janice Erlbaum

Overview: At fifteen Janice Erlbaum spent more than a year living in New York City's shelter system but nevertheless finished high school, graduated from college, and embarked on a successful career as a writer. At age thirty-four, Janice decided to volunteer at the very same youth shelter she had been placed in as an adolescent, in hopes of giving back and finally putting her past behind her.

There she met Sam, a brilliant, sensitive nineteen-year-old girl from the Midwest who had been homeless since she was twelve. On the run from a violent childhood, Sam struggled with sobriety and suffered the effects of long-term drug abuse. The two formed an instant connection, which grew even more intense after Sam's health began to worsen. Almost manically driven to make a difference in this girl's life, and on the verge of becoming Sam's legal guardian, Janice made a shocking discovery: Sam was more troubled than anybody had known, in ways no one could have imagined.

My review: Riveting.... I couldn't put this book down. The story grips you from page one until the very end and then stays with you. Right now as I write this I wonder: Is Sam is alive, getting the help she needs? Has Sam found her way into the lives of others who so badly want to help her? Is Sam dead? These are questions we may never have the answers to.

At times it's hard to remember that this is non-fiction. This story really did happen, Sam and Janice really do exist. The writing flows, it draws you in and keeps you turning the pages. It's a compelling example of a co-dependent relationship and the havoc that is created in lives of those intimately involved. This isn't a tidy, happily ever after story. This is a story of life and all it's ups and downs, it's day ins and day outs. At times I wanted to knock these women up side the head and say "Enough already." Other times I wanted to be right there with Janice helping Sam. Once you realize what is really happening you might have an "OMG" moment or two, maybe even three. Remember this is non-fiction at it's best. I can't wait to her other book "Girlbomb."

1 Comment:

Tristi Pinkston said...

This does sound really good!

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