At the Edge of the Haight follows a homeless woman after she discovers a dead body in the park. We see her threatened by the perpetrator, bullied by the cops and her homeless cohorts about the issue. We get a glimpse of life on the streets, how each of the characters came to live the life they have and how they seem to be oblivious or disinterested in any attempts to help them. The murdered boy’s parents take an interest in Maddy and want to do for her what they couldn’t for their son. She repeatedly shirks their help and shows us that while her life on the streets isn’t perfect, she is content.
I just did not get anything out of this book. I think it was intended to help build empathy towards the homeless and their plight but I found the characters really selfish. I am happy with non-conformity to an extent and I get that’s a millennial thing but being lazy and just begging for money to then buy drugs just did not endear me to these people. I think the author was trying to show often times those who are trying to help are just enabling and not truly getting to the root of the issues. But the responses of Maddy and Ash to that help was overly selfish and truly unkind. I would have preferred for this story to focus on the murder and still give us a taste of the plight of the homeless without being as meandering and pointless as it was. Generally, I do not like to give reviews that are overly negative without offering what I liked about the book but in this case, I’m struggling with that. I liked the dog and that while the people were awful to one another, they did treat their animals well. There was an attempt to try to explain the impact of mental illness on this culture but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. ⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Algonquin for a copy. All opinions above are my own.
What recent book did you have high hopes for but just didn’t work for you?