Monday, March 16, 2009

Dirty Little Angels


Dirty Little Angels
(Read an excerpt)
By Chris Tusa
Publisher: University of West Alabama
Published in 2009
170 pages

Page 10: In my family, it was as if you had to be dead to get noticed.

Dirty Little Angels opens with the news that Hailey’s mother had lost her baby due to miscarriage; her health deteriorates after that. Hailey's father is jobless and turns to alcohol. Her elder brother, Cyrus (who loves her very much), hangs out with undesirable characters. Hailey the young protagonist is sixteen and she lives in a world of violence and drugs, and slowly loses her innocence. Imagine yourself living her life. . .

Author Chris Tusa writes a short but interesting story set in the slums of New Orleans. Hailey is the narrator. I was drawn into the story as soon as I got started; bumped by a minor typo by the time I reached page 11 (“massages” spelled as “messages”), but no major damage to the flow.

Hailey has a good friend named Meridian who is dating Chase. He even takes advantage of Hailey whom he knows likes him and manages to sleep with her. Hailey willingly lets him take advantage of her.

There are religious elements in the story. Hailey’s mother becomes a Christian after the loss of her unborn baby and imposed it on her family. There are distorted views of Christianity; for example, the belief that by getting baptized, you will be saved*. Hailey, from the story, is seen as a person who believes that praying to God as preached by the church will solve the many problems people are facing, or healing will take place. But what she sees does not add up to her belief or what is being preached. The problems do not go away, her family continues to be in the same predicament, and no healing takes place. Where is God? She decides to take matters into her own hands when shite hits the fan.

I will not reveal too much of the plot because the book is a short one at 170 pages but despite that, the author still manages to give enough thought to each of the characters. Often we do not know what goes on in the lives of people living in the slums. This book will somehow show you that from the view of a teenage girl who is ‘involved’.

I would like to thank Chris for sending me the e-book. I have enjoyed reading it and I think he did well for his first novel!

* There is more to baptism than that. For more information, you can check out my notes here.

Related Post: e-book: Dirty Little Angels