Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.
I was contacted by Mr. Tusa who sent me an e-copy of his book. He contacted me through www.shelfari.com. If you would like to read more about Mr. Tusa, you can find his website at www.christophertusa.com. This book can be purchased on www.amazon.com for $12.44.
This book came out in March 2009 and is set in New Orleans. The story is told from the 16 year-old daughter, Hailey's perspective. There is a lot of dialogue in the story and is very character driven. This makes it a quick and easy read. But the dynamics of the story do not make it "easy" to read. The story revolves around Hailey's very dysfunctional family....a depressed mother, an out-of-work/alcoholic/cheating father, and a older brother who is a drug user and following the "wrong path". The story reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle or Change Me Into Zeus' Daughter, both being stories that have lots of struggles between family members. As a mom, it was frustrating for me to see how the mother in the story was ignoring her family and their needs, as was the father. Just when I thought Hailey was getting somewhere with her mom, there would be another setback. There was plenty of drama in the story to keep me reading and interested in what would happen next. I wish the writer would have taken the story further....I hated to leave Hailey where it ended. My heart ached for her. The writer was able to shock and surprise me. It was not a predictable story. I think Mr. Tusa has a great talent for writing and making the reader visualize his characters and scenes. I wish him luck in his future writings. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.