Book: Extreme Change by Gary Beckcategories: Book, Literary, Strong Woman Character, Social Issues, Interracial Friendships, Powerful Story, Homelessness
Gary Beckabout this book: Extreme Change follows a young family, led by a strong woman, Beth, who leads them from decaying Detroit to N.Y.C. At first all goes well in a sub-let in the East Village. The landlord tries to get rid of them and when that fails, he sends an arsonist who burns their apartment. They have no friends or family and are forced into the horrors of the homeless system. Beth keeps her family intact, makes new, interracial friends who band together to survive terrible conditions. They refuse to go to a drug infested motel and sit-in at the office of Homeless Services, until they're sent to a mid-Manhattan welfare hotel. They find out the hard way that a ruthless drug gang runs the hotel. Beth and her friend are abducted and faced with rape and murder. Beth leads a daring escape down a dumbwaiter. Desperate, Peter persuades his ex-landlord, under threat of legal action for arson, to give him and his friends apartments. The group leaves the horror hotel to start a new life together.
• "A well-told and fascinating story with a serious message."
• "Extreme Change is a story with real depth, and an eye- opening view on what it is to be poor in the wealthiest country in the world."
• "Reading this book can make you uncomfortable, sick, or even angry, but it delivers it's message in a sweetly melancholic style reminiscent of Dreiser."
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