Review: Homeless by E.M. Duesel

Homeless

E.M. Duesel

259 pages

★★★★

Homeless is a modern-day fictional novel written by E.M. Duesel and published independently in July 2018. The main character in the story is Jeff Townsend, a middle-aged man who has quite simply lost everything. He lost his wife to a battle with cancer, and after losing his job, he then lost his home, his pets, and seemingly all he had ever known. When he’s left with no other choice, Jeff makes the move to Michigan to live with his brother and begins the journey to rebuild his life.

Jeff knew the change would be difficult, but he never imagined what he would witness in the streets of the town where he felt so lonely. The homeless population, who were deemed as bums and junkies, had gained a reputation that followed them, all while they were just trying to stay alive. Not only where there adults trying to find shelter to shield off the harsh cold, teenagers were scrounging for food and being pimped out for prostitution on the streets. Jeff was determined to help, though he was financially strained already. It would take a village to make a change in their town, and that was only the start.

Jeff’s character in the story developed substantially from the beginning of the story to the end. While he always remained compassionate for others, he managed to set his despair and grief aside and cared for others around him with admirable strength. Though the characters and their specific situations are fictional, these types of situations are real, some even worse, than the conditions detailed in the novel.

Though I can say I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life, I’ve always been aware of the homeless population in our country, but despite my awareness, the emotions this story pulled from me were unlike any I’ve ever experienced while reading. At 259 pages, I would generally finish a novel of this length in one sitting, easily. Homeless was different though- I had to slowly digest one chapter at a time in order to mentally comprehend the situations that the characters were in.

It’s hard to say I enjoyed reading such a difficult story, but I did. I’m thoroughly impressed with the author’s ability to pull such a deep emotion from me in such a short time. Not only does Homeless serve as a heartwarming tale, but it also pulls compassionate feelings that provoke the desire to do something, anything, to help. I’ve juggled the words for this review longer than usual, and despite how much I ramble on, I still feel like I’m not giving enough justice to even scratch the surface of what’s contained within the pages. It’s an honor to have had the opportunity to review Homeless, and I’m pleased to rate the story 4 out of 4 stars.

** Due to the mature language and actions within the story, I feel it’s necessary to give a reader’s discretional warning. Some of the content is difficult to read and contains explicit descriptions of violence, rape, and abuse.

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