Early Reviewers ~ January’s Review

I’m part of the Early Reviewers program through LibraryThing.  First, LibraryThing is a fabulous website & resource for any book person.  You can purchase a lifetime membership for an extremely minimal fee.  With the membership you can catalog all of your books, access catalogs of others who have similar books, write and read reviews and join the Early Reviewers! 

Random House provides LibraryThing with books that are in the queue for release in the near future.  Monthly LibraryThing posts a list of the books that are available, as a member you can request a copy and, because of the limited number of copies, the books are distributed via a lottery.  In December I received my first book and today I’m posting my review.  This can also be seen on my LibraryThing profile.  My plan is to write a book review on my blog monthly.  If I don’t get a book through Early Reviewers, then I’ll select another Random House book from my collection and review that.  I hope you enjoy!

So without further ado…  My review:

Have You Found Her by Janice Erlbaum

Our story explores the relationship between two women.  One quite young who has lived a life more full of experiences that have shaped her than many of us will ever encounter.  The other a woman who has overcome hardening experiences and has decided to use those mistakes to help others. 

Janice, a woman who was homeless, addicted to drugs, and on the verge of the end of her life sought help in a safe shelter and her life turned around.  Years later, she returns to the shelter to give back.  There she meets Sam – a homeless girl, also addicted to drugs, with more problems that one can see on the surface. 

Immediately the two bond and Janice takes Sam under her wing to help her and save her. 

Janice’s decision to change Sam seems more for her own benefit than for Sam’s.  Sam clearly needs someone to hold on to, to have guide her and watch over her, but Janice appears to need Sam more.  The relationship comes across as almost unhealthy.  They are too dependent on each other and in some ways this becomes apparent.  Frustrations ensue and resentment is communicated.  There are times that their relationship is more of a romance than a bonding and healing relationship. 

The idea of romance is addressed, but not until far into the book, when the idea of the two having a romantic relationship is denied.  The implication is that it is more a mother-daughter relationship. 

Although this is a memoir, so ultimately non-fiction, it reads like a novel and brings up the thoughts of “this would never happen in real life.”  The bond seems too quick to be as deep and connected as it is portrayed.  Janice and Sam are connected from beginning to end with the entire relationship covering just under a year.

The story was well-written, however, repetitive at times.  There was an element of suspense that can sometimes be lacking in a memoir.  I felt that over all the book was lacking something – possibly a more solid conclusion.  In all, I found it to be an quick and entertaining read that would certainly offer some hope to one who may feel lost.  3 1/2 stars out of 5. 

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~ by zuzu on January 19, 2008.

One Response to “Early Reviewers ~ January’s Review”

  1. ooo! book review! Sounds interesting but I think I’ll not add this to my tbr list. Thank you, C

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