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Eminent Domain Paperback – January 29, 2012
About the Author
Tit Elingtin has been described as a "roughneck idealist" and a Renaissance man. He knows something about everything. He is truly a jack of all trades, master of some. Erin O'Riordan lives in the Midwestern U.S. with her husband and co-author Tit Elingtin. Her short stories, essays and film reviews have been published in numerous magazines and websites. Readers can view more of her work at www.aeess.com.
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Protagonist Jeff has risen above his own life's difficulties and sees the world in rational, well-ordered black and white. For every offense he knows the reason, sympathizes with offender, and offers, unasked, the perfectly well-planned solution. His skills and attitudes align admirably to his chosen task of renovating houses--he sees the truth of what a home could be; he knows exactly how to get there; he takes the steps that redeem it. Unfortunately it doesn't work so well in personal relationships, and even less so in relationships with local government. Sometimes what we see can never align with what we get, and life isn't fair.
Told through Jeff's eyes, the writing mirrors his well-ordered, detail-oriented approach, from dinner menu, to plumbing and tiling, to advising a feckless brother-in-law on marriage. Jeff's wife Kendra sweetly supports him, ever-agreeable even when she can't keep up. And in a telling scene, Jeff ponders, ironically, why neither brother nor sister can take responsibility for their actions.
As the story progresses, Jeff's paranoia proves justified; his response less so as he himself may be failing to take responsibility. Scenes shift from abject disaster and violence to Jeff's determined and well-controlled life in the past. If the final straw breaks the camel's back, it's the final insult that breaks Jeff's resolve, revealing that after all, life's not fair, and trying to make it so may not be either.
Disclosure: I bought this book because I know I like Erin O'Riordan's writing and I was intrigued with by the thought of team writing. The style and content are very different from her other work, but well fitted to this thought-provoking suburban tale.
The city had other plans. With constant complaints, grievances and issues with the towns code enforcement officers Jeff and Kendra were in the fight of their lives to save their house.
After years of abuse from the city government Jeff decides to take matters into his own hands while Kendra is out of town.
What an excellent book! I was hooked after reading the first two pages! The authors write with such amazing description and explanation of vivid emotion. With a nice balance of back story and action you will fight sleeping in order to read just one more chapter.
I highly recommend this book!
This has been an issue here in my hometown because local business interest wanted to develop an older neighborhood which consisted primarily of homes owned by elderly citizens, younger couples just starting out like the couple in the book, and minorities. It was purely a power play of money over the more disenfranchised. So, for me the book provided an opportunity to experience what it must have been like for some of those people facing the prospect of being forced out off a home they owned, and loved, because of greed. Reminded me a bit of The House of Sand and Fog, on Ooprah book, but I honestly enjoyed this one more although both books have a rather bleak story line - not a criticism but rather an observation.