Earlier this summer, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Jim St. Germain at a dinner party a mutual friend was hosting. When Jim told me that he was writing a book that would soon be released, I was very excited. I was excited, not because I couldn’t wait to read the memoir, but excited for Jim. I was excited that he would earn the title of an author and that he had come so far as to dedicate himself and his time to writing a book. I eagerly waited for the release of A Stone of Hope out of the excitement of knowing the author and being able to support him. When it came out, I had the thought of going out to buy it rushing through my head like race cars on a track. It took weeks until I finally got out to find it at a store, but when I was out we were rushing, and unfortunately I never found the book. A few days later, I was so happy to hear that Jim was willing to send me the book. I eagerly awaited the arrival of A Stone of Hope.
Last night we pulled up our driveway and I was ready to jump out of the car to see what the small package was. I was so happy to finally see the petite orange envelope addressed to me from Brooklyn. Before I received the package, I would check our door step everyday to see if the small boxes lying there could possibly be the one I was waiting for. As I said, this was only last night, which means I have only gotten through the first chapter, but just reading the first chapter was enough to urge me to write this reflection.
The first thing I saw in the memoir was the photo of a little boy with an emotionless expression on his face. The photo immediately told me that this was going to be a rough story to read. Normally, it takes me a couple chapters to really get into the book I’m reading, however this was not the case with A Stone of Hope. The outstanding use of imagery was enough to transport me into the story as an observer of the lifestyle he was living. The way English was used to effortlessly describe his experiences was outstanding, especially since when he was young, English was not his area of expertise. Another thing I was very impressed by was how he, who had a difficult childhood, was brave enough to come to terms with it now and realize that was who he was, something most people like to forget about. This first chapter served as a wake up call to me.
I am aware that many children still go through experiences similar to the ones Jim went through, but hearing his day to day experiences firsthand gave me a greater insight to all that goes on in the lives of children like Jim. It is truly remarkable how much Jim has changed from being a defensive and aggressive child in Haiti, to a successful author in New York. As a reader, I would say he has gotten out of the “front-row seat.” He has made it to the side of the street that he’s dreamed about. Now its our job to help those who are still stuck where he once was.
Jim, you are an inspiration, and your story is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your book with us, it is raw emotion.
GO BUY AND READ THIS BOOK! It will change the way you think.