2 out of 4 stars
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Now and then, depending on where we live, we pass by a homeless woman pushing her earthly possessions in a shopping cart or a homeless man sleeping on a bench in the park. Have you ever wondered why and how they ended up where they are? Or did you look the other way and hastened the pace of your footsteps, hoping to get away as fast as possible? The author Kimberly Stratton halted her steps and dared to ask them why. What she learned is written inside of the pages of A Voice For The Silent Ones.
When I first discovered A Voice For The Silent Ones, I undoubtedly wanted to read this book. So many times had I wondered about the fates and stories of homeless people. Hence, I loved the author’s idea of giving a voice to them. This short book includes 30 stories of homeless people, told exactly the way the protagonists themselves have told them. Included were stories about people with drug or alcohol problems, financial problems, family related problems, identity problems, to mention a few. As was stated in the book, practically anybody can become homeless. Sometimes all that it takes is a bit of bad luck. False words spoken upon your life or being in the wrong place at the wrong time can sometimes be enough. Homeless people are human beings, just like the rest of us. Therefore, I believe their stories deserve to be told, and the author’s attempt to do so is worthy of respect.
Unfortunately, A Voice For The Silent Ones by Kimberly Stratton appeared to be quite raw. Firstly, I felt that the layout was lacking in many reader-friendly aspects. The chosen fonts and font colors gave an unprofessional impression. Secondly, I felt that the implementation of this book had not been thoroughly considered. The author went right into the point – telling the stories of the homeless exactly as the homeless told them. I was missing some background information and would have at least liked to know how and where the author met these people. The book was divided into 30 short chapters, telling the stories of 30 homeless people. Every chapter title revealed the reason for each protagonist's homelessness. Reading the chapter didn't provide new information, and this took away the joy – or the pain – of discovery. It would have been appropriate to name the chapters differently and let the readers explore the reasons for homelessness.
As I knew to expect, the stories of the homeless were heartbreaking. Unfortunately, there were many details in this book that need improvement. The language was mostly faultless, as I encountered only a few typos. Even so, it would not feel right to give this book more than 2 out of 4 stars. A Voice For The Silent Ones has enormous potential, but it needs to undergo the hands of an experienced editor due to the abovementioned issues. I admire the work and calling of the author Kimberly Stratton, but I also believe the homeless deserve the best book one can write. Therefore, I hope the author would seek guidance from book professionals to make this book stand out from the crowd – for the sake of the homeless.
If this piece is to undergo the necessary editorial work, I would love to recommend it to anyone who has ever stopped to wonder, with one exception. Since the destinies of the protagonists are mostly rough and ugly, the book might not be suitable for minors. If the fates of the homeless break your heart, you should consider reading this book. Even more so, if the fates of these people make you feel disgusted. By and large, we need more understanding and more compassion towards our fellow human beings, and right there lies the strength of this book.
A Voice For The Silent Ones
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