Author: Christopher Herz
Title: The Last Block in Harlem
Pages: ?….read on Kindle App
Book Description: All fire escapes lead back to the same block in Sugar Hill, Harlem- where kids run through hydrants and music blares from stereos plugged into lampposts. When a new resident (the story’s unnamed narrator) notices the trash polluting the picturesque streets and tainting the block’s beauty, he is spurred to action. However, his best intentions go awry when the clean-up brings media coverage that in turn, sets off a rash of evictions and ushers in an influx of new and affluent tenants. In an attempt to preserve his neighborhood, the tenant mobilizes a grassroots effort to improve the neighborhood from the inside out.
Realizing he has yet again polluted his reality with unintended consequences, his fight to clean up the block evolves into a quest to cleanse his soul. The choices he makes cannot change the past and the secrets that haunt him, but will alter the future for himself, his family…and the last block in Harlem.
I was nervous to read this book. Why? I came in contact with this wonderful author via Twitter. Twitter has consumed my life and through some connection(I don’t remember anymore) we formed a Twitter friendship where we were sharing ideas, thoughts, etc. like millions of people do on Twitter all the time. Through reading his blog and conversing via Twitter I had grown a much needed respect for Christopher Herz and therefore put myself in a bind. If I did not like the book I would feel terrible for not liking it being that I have liked everything else he has written and created online.
Well, I am here to tell you that I really enjoyed his novel. I found it to be quite compelling and fascinating. It was a novel that had me stop to ponder my own life. Those books are needed to remind us of what is really important in life.
As I read about the narrator and his life events I was never quite sure if I liked him or not. That is a good main character because he had good qualities, but was flawed like every other human on the planet. I constantly struggled with his self absorption and not providing more sentiments to his wife, but also realized that he had given up so much for her to be where she was in her job.
As the story unfolded, I just had to know how it would pan out. I never saw the ending coming at all. It caught me off guard.
I took many things away from this novel. I highlighted several passages that stood out to me that carried meaning to me personally.