A boy from the streets will be the first novel that I have published but not the first book I have written. It was while I was researching for one of my other books which hasn’t been published yet that I came up with the inspiration and the basic outline for the story.
While reading ‘Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands’ by Foreign Correspondent Christina Lamb I came across something I hadn’t heard about before and it shocked me. This is taken from Christina’s book:
“There was one aspect of life in Rio I knew I would never get used to. Every morning when I arrived at my office downtown, there would be bundles in the doorways. After a while I discovered they had names and faces. These were children, some of the thousands – some say millions – of street kids who roam Brazil’s cities. Sometimes they would be sniffing glue from shoemakers’ tins or out of coke bottles for a high to dampen their hunger. Most Cariocas just step over them as if they were insects. Some areas like Ipanema had even erected iron railings round the parks to stop the children going in.
The first year I lived in Rio, Amnesty International ran a series of advertisements: ‘Brazil has found a new way of taking its children off the streets – killing them.'”
The book goes on to talk about 500 killings in one month alone, many of whom were children.
“Death squads pick up and kill the street kids who so upset the tourists and the businesses dependent on tourism. Many of the squads are run by policemen who have no shame about their methods of cleaning up the streets.”
After the initial revulsion and the coldness that pervaded my body at the thought of what these poor children endured and disgust at humankind, the beginnings of a story formed. I picked up my pen and the words flowed. This has now been polished by me and my editor and a new beginning was added later on as the story changed shape in my head. A Boy from the Streets was born. I am now coming to the end of the journey with this book as I aim to publish it early April.
Check it out:
Two babies abandoned at birth—one grows up in a life of privilege, the other in poverty.
On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.
Love and betrayal.
Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life—if he can survive.
Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.
Hopes and dreams.
A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.
A small snippet from the beginning of A Boy from the Streets:
“Fernando, we must take them both, we cannot separate twins.”
“Christina, you’re too soft, we can’t bring up two children. You’re not strong enough to cope with the needs of twins. Your constitution is weak. It would be unfair to all of us.”
“I know my health is delicate, Fernando, and I will always regret that I can’t carry your baby to term inside me, but I know I can love and care for these twins. We can afford to hire help…” She trailed off when she saw the determined jut of his chin, the expression that brooked no further argument. Christina decided to try one last tug at his conscience anyway. “If we leave one behind, he might end up on the streets, an urchin living in squalor and fighting to survive… if he even makes it past babyhood.”
“Christina, your abundance of love does you credit, but I have no doubts the other boy will be adopted also. The only thing left to do now is to choose which one you would like?”
Christina’s heart sank as she looked at the two bundles in front of her. He was asking her to choose one, like picking out a pair of shoes from the rows on display in a shop. One stirred and let out a howl, disturbing his twin. It was almost as though he were alert to the inherent danger in this situation and was warning his brother.
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