Tuesday, June 10, 2008

book review: home girl (building a dream house on a lawless block)*

In this memoir, Judith Matloff tells of quitting her job as an international correspondent (who very frequently worked in war zones), to seek stability and peace in her home country. When she and her husband buy a an affordable (read completely dilapidated) former crack house in Harlem, she finds her war zone skills being put to good use once again.

One of the things that I most appreciated about this book was the author’s intelligent writing and progressive analysis. She has a solid understanding of the economics behind the drug industry (what she doesn’t know at the outset she sets about researching in a way that really spoke to this former researcher) and manages to portray even the most sophisticated of dealers and hardened of addicts (along with those who oppose them) in a somewhat sympathetic light.

This book was a compelling read and the diverse cast of characters had me laughing, crying and turning the pages. I really enjoyed this book and it has made me want to seek out some of Matloff’s more journalistic writing.

*This is a review of a book that was sent to me via Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program.

I just found a link to this promotional video for the book. It's a hoot, whether you've read the book or not. And I think her respect for the members of her community is pretty clear.


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

Hey Sister!

I will put this book on my "must read" list! I will come back to watch the video...I am on a computer that does not have speakers...WTF!

deb said...

I love the video! Makes me want to read the book for sure. Thanks.

laurie said...

deb! You can borrow my copy!