A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ The Tarnished Shooter

The Tarnished Shooter by Author Charles James

Within the first few chapters of this well-written book, I found myself identifying with the author. I personally know what it is like to be born on the wrong side of the tracks…to have people look down on you. I have experienced the hardships of poverty and the shivering cold of a house that was impossible to heat in the cold winter months despite the old coal burner that perched itself in our small living room. I can also feel the sweltering heat of the summer months when it was necessary to sleep on the floor in the screened back porch because of the unbearable heat upstairs in our small basementless wartime house packed with eight people and the occasional relative looking for a roof over their head.

I know full well what it is like to live in an undesirable neighborhood where the police patrolled on a regular basis to keep their eyes on the juvenile delinquents who lived in the area. I hung out with these guys against my parents’ wishes because I never felt that they were inferior to me. My favorite hangout was just next door where my best friend lived with her single parent mom and her eight other siblings on social welfare. It is how I got my “street smarts”. It’s how I learned what “not to do”. There was no way I was going to end up in reform school like some of the other neighborhood kids. Yes…I can definitely relate to the plight of the main character in this novel. He’s got a story to tell…and he is doing an excellent job of telling it.

Choices…rising above the plight that we have been born into and choosing a better life. Not easy to be sure. Overcoming abuse…child abuse of any kind is beyond words and never acceptable. It shapes our lives and once again teaches us what “not to do”. Yes…we are not all born with silver spoons in our mouths, however…just like in “The Tarnished Shooter”, we can find the silver lining in the clouds above us if we have the desire to do so. Yes…if tough luck is the hand we’ve been dealt we can be tough skinned in the way we react to it…or better yet…tough minded enough to have the courage and audacity to rise to the challenge in order to become a new and changed person. Some lessons in life are tough lessons to learn but to quote an old adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” in order to turn their lives around.

Perhaps, this is the reason why the actual testimony in this book hits so close to home. So many choices, not all of them good but there is hope for better ones to come! Tough, tarnished, and truthful lead to determination, personal growth, and the desire to leave an imprint. The words that talented Author Charles James pens as he inspires his reading audience with this heart wrenching and thought provoking story do just that. To quote the author himself… “Everyday decisions hang on a thin string, pulling each and every one of us into an unknown future. Right or wrong, every choice we make today will effect many tomorrows. This compelling story of adversity, adventure and the consequences of the choices one makes, is based on actual events.” At long last…listening to the “lighter voice” pays off. Good stuff!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


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