Award-winning reporter Emmer Richfield is the kind of guy who covers wars, the kind of guy who asks the hard-hitting questions. He is not—and he’s certain about this—the kind of guy who does sappy human-interest stories about homeless people. But his newest assignment is not just any human-interest story, it’s a mandate from the mayor: convince the people of Dodson that Foxton Industries’ plan to build a mall—and oust the homeless population—is a bad idea by way of a feature on a homeless man named Pudding Jones. But Pudding quickly goes from just another story to a man who changes Emmer’s life. The question is, can Emmer return the favor before it’s too late?
Buy Link: Wilde City Press
Review: Lynn, 5
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read from this author in the past and was really excited to read this one.
This is the story of a homeless man named Pudding Jones. He’s being interviewed by a local newspaper journalist named Emmer for a human interest story. I was utterly fascinated by this story. As another reviewer said, how many times have we passed a homeless person on the street not even giving them a second thought as to the why and how that person got there. As a people we tend to just ignore the homeless and see them as burdens on society. I’m sure very few of us even give them a second thought as we pass them by on our way home, or to work.
Now, Pudding Jones isn’t your typical homeless person on the street. He’s made himself a home in an abandoned building, which he keeps neat and orderly as best he can. He’s always clean from taking taking showers at the local gym. He also takes odd jobs around town so he’s got a little money to pay for his meals at his favorite diner. He’s living his life on his terms, his way. I believe he takes control of his life as he wants it to be, something he couldn’t do as a child.
Pudding Jones’s story is heartbreaking. He cried out for help as a little boy and no one listened. He shunned the world to protect himself, so he would never be hurt that way again. While Emmer went in to this interview because he was told to, he was enthralled by this man. He was shocked, and horrified by what he was hearing. While reading this, I wanted to yank that little boy out of the pages and save him. I wanted to scream at the adults in his life to listen to him and please help him. My emotions were all over the place with this story; heartbreak, rage, sadness, etc.
What I also found fascinating was the way Pudding Jones spoke about himself as a boy in the third person. Like he wanted to disassociate himself with what had happened to him as a child. He never said the words mother and father, it was only by their first names. It was just so sad.
I was utterly devastated with how this story ends. I had such hope and it was crushed by one sentence. But it was also satisfying too, knowing that people will now know his story thanks to Emmer. You see, Emmer was touched on so many levels, he may not even realize it yet. He was most definitely not the same person he was at the beginning of this story. Pudding Jones inadvertently gave Emmer something he’s been looking for, for a long time.
I have read many stories that have touched my heart and will forever stay with me, this is one of those stories. So beautifully written, it commands the reader to pay attention to the story being told.