Home Street Home - The Virginia Beach Chronicles
by Georgia Saunders
At 60, Ella Migliore, a gentle soul from a middle class background, finds her security wiped out by the 2008 market crash. Long estranged from her nuclear family, she is thrown into the brutal world of homelessness - a shadowy hell that swallows people bit by bit, even in the well-manicured streets of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Bravely trying to make the best of a bad situation, she downplays the dangers until she learns firsthand just how vicious street life can be. Menaced by ex-cons at a free dining hall, bedding down on drenched church steps after a Tidewater tornado-watch storm, and terrified by lawless men in a homeless camp, she digs deep to find strength to carry on.
Her terrors are compounded when Ella is physically attacked by much younger campers while onlookers refuse to get involved. Her fear of being beaten to death drives her into the arms of a predator who takes control of her camp and her life. When he asks the unthinkable, she escapes, only to battle the worst threat of all - the thirst for revenge that twists her soul as she plans violent reprisals against those who've bullied her.
I just finished reading the book today! I could not put it down - it was WONDERFUL! I felt like I was there with everyone & everything as it took place. It gave me different insights to things I could not imagine going on. I cried at the end; when you were talking about Little Bear as I knew who you were really talking about."
----- Alice Dagenhardt of "Hope in the Upper Room", Virginia Beach
"...a uniformly rugged but redemptive novel about life among the homeless in Hampton Roads."
----- Bill Ruehlmann, professor emeritus of journalism/communications at Virginia Wesleyan College and book columnist for the Virginia Pilot.
*See the link below to Dr. Ruehlmann's complete review of Home Street Home - The Virginia Beach Chronicles in the August 29, 2011 "Sunday Break" section of the Virginia Pilot.
"She provides an authentic picture from what I know of homelessness on the streets. Her story puts a human face on the whole issue of homelessness."
----- Jeffrey Andrews, retired Marine Corps major and president of Hope in the Upper Room, a non-profit devoted to giving the homeless a "hand up", not a "hand out".
"The book is realistic. It's not amateurish, nor does it seek sympathy. There is definitely a market for this."
---- Anne Meek, board secretary for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads
From what I’ve read, it seems to be an accurate and honest portrayal of life among the homeless of Hampton Roads.
-----Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr., Mayor of Virginia Beach
Buy on Amazon
About the author:
Georgia Saunders has shared the lives of the homeless of Virginia Beach for over three years. This is her first novel, written when she felt compelled to bring the subject to the public in a fresh way that sidesteps the world's tendency to pigeonhole the homeless as the "other" people. Her main character, Ella, is every one of us - fallen into a world that should not even exist, but, most unfortunately, is terribly real.
Georgia lives in Virginia Beach.