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To Begin Again

To Begin Again

By: Jen Knox
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
Publication Date: February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9846-2978-7
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: April 27, 2011 

This is a novel that offers some, literally, amazing short stories and essays that can alter the way people think, live, and look at the world around them.

An absolute favorite for any reader will be the first story told. This intense, well-crafted tale deals with a subject that has been on the news quite a bit. In At The Window, a young woman is walking down the street and is literally attacked. She is beaten by a man who acts quite mentally insane. But the beating, oddly enough, isn’t the most disgusting thing that happens to her during her day.

The worst things are the way the police handle the situation by simply saying that the criminal - if caught - would get no more than an evening in jail with how the system works nowadays. AND, while the woman is actually feeling the pain and brutality of her attacker’s fists, there are people standing in their windows looking down at the scene - doing absolutely nothing to help the victim. Although it fills one with disgust when a subject like this is headlined on our local news stations it is, in fact, the truth. Many times, when a crowd gathers around a violent incident - it’s as if basic morality goes out the window. Being afraid of the situation and not calling someone to help has become the ‘norm’ in society. And although Superman doesn’t exist - humanity used to.

On through the pages the reader travels, and becomes mesmerized in these engrossing, and very real situations that are constantly twisting to show the reader all points of view. From a story where fifty dollars missing in a store’s till leads to an actual future for the accused; to the power and pain that an alcoholic feels as they battle with their addiction after leaving rehab - each and every word captures and holds the readers’ attention.

From a family who must work to find understanding with each other, a story of a child having to leave ‘home’ because of something they ‘saw’ in their own household, to the way homeless people are seen in society, the amazement and imagination - not to mention the creativity, becomes more and more outstanding as each page is turned.

Commendations and accolades should be served up for this compilation of true and heartfelt stories. Untied, Disengaged - even the titles are introspective before ever getting to the moral of the story.

Quill Says: An extremely brilliant collection of stories that literally ‘say’ something in a world that has slowly stopped listening.

To learn more about To Begin Again, please visit the author's website at:

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