One Good Hustle is Billie Livingston's latest novel. It was long-listed for 2012 Giller Prize and currently nominated in the Canada Reads Top 10: British Columbia and Yukon catergory. The story introduces Sammie. She is an old soul for her mere 16 years. Sammie has witnessed far too much for her age but somehow maintains a refreshing amount of naïveté when it comes to her views on life, loyalty and love. Her parents Sam and Marlene live on the edge as con artists, scammers, and hustlers. Sammie fears that she is doomed to inherit their ways and yearns to live life like the "normals" with regular Joe jobs. Most teenagers spend a great deal of time trying to fit in. Sammie's lot in life adds to her struggle to find her identity in a world of crime and deception. Sammie's story is her search for acceptance and a semblance of normalcy.
"I'm just like them and I'm nothing like them."
Sammie feels responsible for her mother Marlene who is a depressed and suicidal drunk. Her father Sam is an absentee parent, preferring the con artist lifestyle to family life. Sammie bolts from her dysfunctional home to live with her friend Jill and her family. They are kind and include her in their family but Sammie feels somewhat like a stray dog. Her friend Drew tries to get through to Sammie but she puts up a wall of protection. Her defenses are up and trusting people only makes you vulnerable. Sammie's situation appears bleak but this tenacious teen has a good head on her shoulders. The touching part of this tale is Sammie's loyalty to her parents and her hope for the future. The surprising reality about this novel is that it's part autobiographical. One Good Hustle has stark elements and experiences gleaned from Billie's upbringing as a child of a con artist father and an alcoholic mother. To get an inside look into the author's history read Tales From The Conman's Daughter by Billie Livingston.
One Good Hustle is a brilliantly crafted and heartbreakingly honest portrayal of a young woman searching for her identity in a world of uncertainty. This hard to put down story of a heroine with a heart of gold will appeal to both adults and teenagers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Billie Livingston is a Canadian author of the multiple award winning short story collection Greedy Little Eyes, the novels Cease To Blush (YMC Book Of The Month) and Going Down Swinging, a collection of poetry The Chick At The Back Of The Church and The Single Voice Series book The Trouble With Marlene. You can visit Billie's website BillieLivingston.com and follow @BillieLiving on Twitter.
YUMMY MUMMY BOOK CLUB
The #YMBC will be reading One Good Hustle and discussing it in our virtual book club Twitter chat with special guest author Billie Livingston! Save the date Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 at 9:30 pm EST for what promises to be a terrific discussion. Use the hashtag #OneGoodHustle, follow host @BookaliciousCA and author @BillieLiving. Keep tabs on the #YMBC Twitter chat updates on Bookalicious.ca. To join the YMBC click here to sign up and get a heads up on free books!
BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY
Random House of Canada has copies of One Good Hustle to give to 2 lucky Bookalicious readers! Leave your comment in the "click here to spill it!" bubble below to enter the draw. To read about more great books visit RandomHouseCanada.ca, RetreatByRandomHouse.ca, and CraveByRandomHouse.ca. Social media fans can follow the bookish tweets with @RandomHouseCA and @HazlittMag on Twitter and find bookworm fun with Random House of Canada and HazlittMag on Facebook.