56th Street

Fiction - Literary
147 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

James W Haddad's 56th Street is a powerfully moving work of literary fiction about one girl's traumatic experiences growing up in Liberty City, both as a child and later as an adult. This book is compelling and is as intimate as a first-person memoir, thanks to the insightful and empathetic writing of Haddad. Home is supposed to be a safe haven, but it's far from that for a girl living in a Miami ghetto. She suffers trauma at the hands of an abusive older brother. She does what she can to survive and protect her young siblings from abuse. Torn between family, safety, and freedom, she chooses to escape by marrying the first man she meets, thinking this will end her torment. Little does she know, trauma follows her.

Haddad puts a face on childhood trauma and its after-effects with Rosie's story. I like how he puts us into the girl's mindset on the first pages - right into her family dynamics; the very ones that help perpetuate the abuse. He shows the clashing, confusing realities. On one hand, they watch cartoons like any other family. On the other, they are a family of abuse and secrets. I also like the author's commitment to showing what abuse looks like. You will feel for Rosie and the other characters, and will so many times want to tell her to avoid choices that will hurt her in the long run, but some lessons are learned only by living them, and by judgment clouded by trauma. Trigger warnings may apply because there are parts of this story that may anger, frighten, or re-traumatize you. Being a former child/adult protection social worker, I recommend 56th Street by James W Haddad to anyone living with childhood trauma.

James Khoudary

A classic that will be with us for many decades after the author is gone.

Jim Khoudary

An important work of fiction

Jimmi Smith

Excellent verisimilitude. Haddad has no rival depicting female abuse.. The realism of this novel is tantamount to the actual abuse in daily life. The misery inflicted on females comes from an impaired mind. Abusers will go to any extreme to get their way. Any woman experiencing abuse in the household should read this novel.

Willie Khoudary

Impressive. Intriguing

Kelly Pagan

This books seems to be written between a memoir and a novel. Nevertheless, it held my attention from first page to last. Haddad could not have said it any better. We need to protect these innocent and helpless women trapped in a nightmare with no escape. A irrefutable must-read