The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York CIty

Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Jennifer Toth)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  11/11/2013
*NOTE: If the library is closed Nov.11th, the discussion will be held on Nov. 4th.

     This book is  a series of stories, one on one accounts, of homeless individuals in New York.  I tried to get into this book, I did.  The first story that I read was very compelling.  But I knew that the stories were going to primarily be about how the system has failed these people and the people themselves have failed their own lives.  A series of heartbreaking stories of how these homeless folks had scraped by and built a hardscrabble society out of cast offs and nothingness.  I didn’t see anything uplifting that was going to come out of this story whatsoever.

     I work in a service organization that helps those in our community who are poor.  Some of these folks are just always in the wrong place at the wrong time, for whatever reason.  But some choose this life because they imagine it is easier than working.  For whatever reason, these stories of want and need occur, it is always heartbreaking.  Where I work, it is not always possible to help with all the need that’s out there, sometimes when we help we make it worse and people become dependent on the system.  There’s really no answer to any of it.  There are those rare occasions though, when it is possible to help an individual turn their life around and come out on top.  It’s always a thrill when that happens. 

     I hear these stories everyday and I simply could not hear any more stories of need, want, heartache, or heartbreak.  More power to you if you can finish this book, but I just couldn’t.  I’ve heard more than enough stories like these.

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