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At the Edge of the Haight

by Katherine Seligman

At the Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman X
At the Edge of the Haight by Katherine Seligman
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 31 member reviews
for At the Edge of the Haight
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  • Patricia W. (Homewood, AL)
    At the Edge of the Haight
    After receiving an ARC for this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, it is hard to say I enjoyed it. It was composed very well with vivid descriptions of the homeless and their living conditions. I think we have all been aware of the homeless in our communities, but do we really see them? This book helps with that. It also shows that there are people and ways for them to get help - short term and long term. It also means their change must come from recognizing the challenges and wanting things to be better. There is a feeling of community among the homeless and a willingness to share what little they have, even when it is only body heat in a sleeping bag within a refrigerator cardboard box. I appreciate the time I spent reading this book and would recommend that Everyone read it and share what you learn.
  • Barbara B. (Holbrook, NY)
    I have never read a book such as this. I also never thought I would say I loved this book, considering the subject. But, be that as it may, I found myself admiring the characters at the same time feeling that their life is so hard. I highly recommend this book.
  • Laura G. (Buffalo, NY)
    At the Edge of the Haight
    This book was an amazing look into the day to day life of a young woman and her friends who choose to live homeless. As a woman who volunteers at a homeless shelter, with a son who works at a food kitchen, this is not a new topic to me but this perception was very worthwhile. The plot of the book was compelling and the characters well developed. There were so many likable characters. I have recommended this book to many people already.
  • Lucy S. (Westford, MA)
    Hidden society right in the open
    When the story begins, you think it will be a mystery, but it's more than that. It describes the hidden society right there on the streets. The book describes the serious homeless situation in your country and how the characters fit into their world on the street. The author lifted the curtain onto a world that most of us will only witness as outsiders. You get a view into the life of Maddy, her close relationship to her friends and wonder through the book why and how the characters got there and what they can do to escape and wonder why they haven't taken advantage of the programs and offers of help. The author touches on the backgrounds of the characters, but the story revolves around their choices and reactions to life in their world. You find yourself cheering Maddy on and hoping she can find a way home.
  • Veronica E. (Chesterton, IN)
    A Walk in the Park
    What made me pick this book was the word HAIGHT in the title. Reason, I did some growing up in the 1960s in the Bay area. Loved going to Golden Gate Park and visiting the Haight Ashbury district. My parents were very worried that I might run away. Little did they know that I had no intentions of running away. I was loved and taken very well care of by my family. But curiosity did get the best of me and I would go into the City often. AT THE EDGE OF THE HAIGHT was very well written. I fell right inside this book and walked the steps of Maddy and her friends. You can feel their feelings about living on the streets, sleeping in the park. How people reacted to their way of life. It is a fast read full of love, hope and friendship, but the story also tells you why these kids end up on the streets...abuse, hatred, drugs, no where to go...
  • Anl
    Great read
    I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The author does an excellent job of describing the life of the homeless from their perspective. Her characters are believable; some more likable than others. The plot is simple and straightforward - not too many characters or issues. And there is no opinion or judgement on a polarizing issue. I read an advance copy and almost did not request it over concern of an author trying to form my opinion. Kudos to the author. She successfully touches on several volatile issues that homeless deal with every day. I put this author on my list to read more that she writes in the future.
  • Rebecca R. , Western USA
    Realistic and Empathetic Without Being Judgmental
    I understand why this book was the winner of The Pen/Bellwether prize for socially engaged fiction. First person narrator Madlynne (only 20 years old) has a life of homelessness, living on the streets of San Francisco. Sadly, she was pointed in that direction starting with her mother's mental illness followed by an uncaring foster home where food was strictly rationed and things like cookie packages were marked so that no child could take another cookie.

    While many books promise to give readers an insider's view of name the situation or social program, author Katherine Seligman artfully avoids warning against bad choices, bad parenting, or bad society while also avoiding the over-glamorization of this alternative lifestyle. Instead, this novel empathetically pulls the reader into a realistic portrayal of homelessness and dumpster diving for food, along with sorrows of families who have lost someone to life on the streets. I don't think I will ever drive or walk by another homeless person without thinking of this book. I have always supported local, national, and international aid programs, but this book made me feel the relief of those homeless people who are able to grab a sweatshirt from a free clothing bin on a cold morning or who are grateful for some food that they can also share with their dog. Thank you to BookBrowse and Algonquin Books for the ARC.

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