This real mystery based novel had me glued to its pages. Nancy did a great job of making old time Italy and present day USA flow swiftly alongside each other. The characters are as likable as a real person with a real life would be. I enjoyed the way the suspense keeps you guessing in every chapter.
The story is that of a young man, Jon, who has known nothing but hard life since age 3, when he walked away from a fire and was stopped by a woman. His mother had sent him to wait downstairs so she could help her maid escape the fire. It was the last time he saw her. A female stranger talked to him and held his hand for a long time, but his mother never came for him. The woman, by the name of Ruby Kiersey, didn’t have the child’s best interest in mind. She knew the building was a high scale apartment complex and the boy’s parents would paid handsomely.
However, the time passed and Jon learned a lot from the woman he thought was his mother. These learnings were things like drugs, boyfriends, beatings and a lonely life. Soon, at twelve, the meanest kid at school, who offered him a job, approached him. After that his life changed for the worse. He spent more than a year in jail as a minor and when he went back to his “mother” he remembered why he didn’t like her. He left and never looked back. He spent since his fourteenth year of age with prostitutes and drugs. Then at eighteen, a man, Bump, found him half dead in an alley.
It is an excellent book to teach young adults about the dangers of life on the streets. It contained the regrets and the heartaches of letting go of the past and feeling worthy of a happy future. Very clean book recommended to readers over twelve.