Esther never fit in with her family. Although raised by successful and well-educated immigrant parents, she found she couldn't conform to the expectations placed on her. Her father especially was always getting angry at her, wondering why she couldn't be like her brother and sisters. He felt he knew what was best for her in life, and that was to study hard and become a lawyer. Esther, however, didn't want to be a lawyer. Art was her passion. Yet rather than working hard to convince her parents that her chosen path was a valid one, she slipped into defiance, skipping school, and hanging out with a rough crowd. Eventually, at age seventeen, Esther left home after flunking out of school, but life out from under her parents' roof was even worse.
After a brief explanation to her readers about Esther's underlying issue, clinical depression, which exacerbated her other problems, the author steps back and lets Esther tell her story in her own words. In this cautionary tale Esther describes how after leaving home she sank quickly into thievery and prostitution to survive on the streets. Abandoned by her family, her only friend during this period was a boy named Denver with whom she shared an old trailer, but even he was taken away from her in a tragic shooting. Despite this devastating loss, Esther found a spark in her that wanted to survive, and this prompted her to seek out professional help.
Foster's background of abandonment and abuse as a young Jamaican immigrant along with her eventual rise out of despair into hope, healing, and a career of helping struggling teens and children give added realism to her writing. Her passion for her subject is evident, and the result is a book that is as encouraging as it is informative.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review