2004-11-19 / Columnists

Melanie Osborne, Far Rockaway Private Eye Is Gutsy Gal

A Wave Review By Howard Schwach and Shawnte Avaloy

A Wave Review
By Howard Schwach and Shawnte Avaloy

Far Rockaway resident Laura Johnson has penned a first novel, “Melanie Osborne: The Making Of A Female Private Eye,” that is tough and gritty, just like the Redfern Houses (called “Red Fern Houses in the book) where Melanie grew up.

It’s hard for an outsider, even one who taught in Far Rockaway nearby the Redfern Houses for twenty years, to believe some of the events in Melanie’s life, so I asked Wave intern Shawnte Avaloy, a senior at Stell Maris High School who lives in Far Rockaway, to take a look at the book for me.

Shawnte obviously liked the book and had little trouble accepting some of its precepts and happenings.

Shawnte wrote:

Everybody has a very own favorite kind of book, whether is be fiction, romance or some other genre. Everybody, however, likes to read a book that actually takes their breath away.

I had the luck to read “Melanie Osborne: The Making of a Female Private Eye,” by Laura Johnson. The book is absolutely breath taking.

I guarantee that once you begin the book, you will not want to put it down. The book has no boring parts and the characters were so real, you could almost reach out and touch them. This book will resonate with those who live in a community such as the Red Fern Houses.

The main character, Melanie Osborne, encountered many struggles growing up and finding her adult life. Many other would have succumbed to the “life” and given up. Melanie did not.

The book does not seem like fiction. It seems to me to be what real life is like in Far Rockaway especially to me, because I live in Far Rockaway.

I was familiar both with the area and with the live that Melanie lives.

The lesson in the book is that you might have it bad, but there is always somebody else who has it worse. You have probably heard that before, but the book makes you look at it with a fresh eye.

The book is an excellent work, and I look forward to more from Laura Johnson.”

I will have to take Shawnte’s word for the authenticity of the work. If it is authentic, and I assume it is, then the book is troubling to an outsider, with its wide acceptance of drugs and crime and the way the characters who people the book hate the police simply because the local cops are doing the job they are paid to do and that interferes with the lives the book’s dwellers chose to live.

In any case, the self-published book is dark and gritty and should be read by all local residents who want to see what life is like at the eastern end of the peninsula.

The book is available through Xlibris, 1-888-795-4274 or by email at orders@Xlibris.com.

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