Kristin Soto's Reviews > My Dreams Out in the Street: A Novel

My Dreams Out in the Street by Kim Addonizio
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Apr 05, 2011

My Dreams Out in the Street
Kim Addonizio
Simon & Schuster
New York, 2007

Streets of Hope

Kim Addonizio’s, “ My Dreams Out in the Street,” is a written journey of the quest for redeeming oneself and the inspiring idea that hope is still a concept to be revered. The novel’s protagonist, Rita, is a young woman trying to survive the streets of San Francisco while searching for her husband, Jimmy, who had left her a year ago. Jumping from shelter to shelter, selling her body for money and battling a drug addiction, it almost seems impossible for Rita to come out of her situation a changed person reunited with her long lost loved. Little does she know, Jimmy is still residing in the city and very much in love with Rita. However, he too is battling with his own demons as he sets out to change his life around for the better. Rita is also conflicted when she finds herself as a witness to an investigation headed by the novel’s third main character, Private Investigator Gary Shepard. Gary and Rita begin working closely together and eventually become involved, creating yet another obstacle standing in the way of Rita’s dreams: to be free of the streets and reunited with Jimmy once again.

As Addonizio molds Rita in the story, the reader can sense the despair, embarrassment and fear Rita has internally. Depicting scenes of hardships Rita has endured adds to the complexity of her character and gives the reader more insight as to where she comes from, how she got to her current position, and why she is the way she is. Though the novel reads mainly in Rita’s point of view, it also incorporates the views of the other primary characters as well. This creates a better understanding for the purpose of the reader. Both the characters’ dialogues and subconscious thoughts create a more vivid description of the scenes and inner workings of the people involved.

Though “My Dreams Out in the Streets” incorporates effective use of imagery and creates believable characters, the novel itself is a bit formulaic and almost too predictable. The novel is sectioned off into pieces that tell the story of each character and the climax does not really arise until the last chapter, which may lose the reader’s interest rather quickly. As the novel concludes, it almost seemed as though Addonizio tried to rush each character’s plot just to tie them in together for a plausible ending. As a reader, it left me more confused and wanting more; it just seemed too coincidental and interrupted the flow of the piece.

However, Addonizio does attempt to raise the notion that hope still exists and to never give up on something that you hold so close to your heart. Even in the darkest times where all seems lost and there is no way of freeing oneself from physical and emotional depravity, the characters in “My Dreams Out in the Streets,” somehow find the light to guide them to freedom. The novel is about never losing sight of your dreams, which Addonizio successfully accomplishes.


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