A Tramp Life: Tony Telford
Alone, dejected, living as an outcast and thrown to the wolves you might say teenage Pearly James decides to walk away from her life and find a new world to live in on her own. Disgusted with living with an aunt that is there in body only and rarely notices her and tormented by the students in her school and bullied by another, Pearly realizes that being lonely and having no one to care for her or for her to care about except her precious dog Boo, is not the life she wants. She plans, and creates her own schedule of events until that moment she breaks free and is on her own. Selling off items that she feels she won’t need and taking the money from the bank account her aunt set up for her, Pearly feels that she can make it on her own but where? School does not entice her and the teachers and higher ups seem to cast her aside even when she reports that Bernard O’Hare is tormenting her and play sick and practical jokes on her. Being like the rest of the world and doing things just because it conforms to the norms and mores of the time and place does not suit Pearly James. School does not offer her an outlet to learn or make friends. Being like the rest of the world, phony, disconnected and the same seems to create as she feels a world filled with robots that go about doing their thing in a uniform and conformed way. No longer will she focus on the culture of the times or feel enslaved as her classmates do, she feels that there is a whole world out there and she is about to find it on her own.
Leaving a short note for her aunt and thanking her for trying to take care of her she ventures out on her own not knowing what the world has in store for her.
Wandering into the forest and dealing with the elements hoping to find a place to sleep and food Pearly winds up in a marketplace and is befriended by a unique and colorful group of young people. Bernard is a computer freak and genius and yet he finds great comfort in torturing and tormenting Pearly for the most unusual reasons. He is strange, his eyes stare right through you and his black overcoat and green eyes are mesmerizing. How many would go against the norms and grain and leave the semi-comfort of a home and search for their own identity, their own world and hope to find somewhere they she and others can actually be themselves? This is a story of self discovery, unusual ties, friendships and a young girl named Pearly James who has a super heart, is bold, daring and loyal.
Meet the members of Blackbird House: Matty, Jean, Hook who does the meals, Miri and Draemon all quite unique in appearance and personality. When Boo goes missing and Pearly is sure that Bernard has taken the dog, the team goes on a hunt to find Boo. But, a video appears and a search ensues and it leads them to explore tunnels rooms, and the entire house hoping that they find the Boo in time. Someone even breaks into their house when they are out after dancing, playing music and reveling in their freedom. The bands played and the music went on until late into the night as they joined the players and the people that lived in their area. But, hunting for Pearly would cause them to be in danger and if they find her will she be okay? Pearly and the group enter the house and a smell permeates the air and it’s nothing that anyone wants to smell. The sceneries are graphically described and each one of the actions of Pearly and the others often well thought out or done on the fly. Pearly is smart but will not back down when she wants to get things done and going after Boo, following Bernard and then getting tormented by him, caught behind locked doors, in tunnels and then seeking the help of a doctor to test what the stuff was that she and her friends got on them. Newland Crescent is where she would search to find Bernard and Boo but just how and who finds the dog you won’t believe. Dreams come to Pearly and she knows that she is in a little room that is hot and cramped. Every breath she takes hard and the air is greasy. Fearful and worried she looks around for a door and cannot find one. So she opens a window and follows the path leading up a hill. But, it was a mountain not a hill with stone steps that were slippery. Going back to Sarah the doctor she learns that she mentioned what she wanted tested to one of her co-workers. Charlie Herman works at another lab and he came across a name that when Pearly hears it sends her off in a direction that might not only lead her to Boo but Bernard too. What will happen when they reach the door and hopefully not wind up facing Bernard? Draemon, Miri who was fearful and always afraid, Matty who nodded to the door and could see a faint rosy glow but what brought Pearly to think about her room was a marble that she found which was beautiful and blue and gold marble spinning slowly at the end of a long piece of fishing line. Looking in her satchel she found the one from her room. Fearful, afraid and allowing the others to wander off watching screens and hoping to get close to finding Boo, as danger was just around the corner when Pearly was facing someone with huge dark eyes. Taunting Bernard, daring him and then coming face to face with this mentally ill person, he speaks to her in German and then insults her and her friends but what happens next and his words are incoherent and his thoughts jumbled as she calls him a monster and then insults his appearance but nothing seems to affect him. But, just when they were free find out they have been squatters and the end result is sometimes the ending can turn into a new beginning. With their supplies in hand, their rucksacks and whatever they could carry they would not start another journey in their lives but where? Will Bernard continue to hunt Pearly? Where will they go? With a map in hand and several hearts that feel free what is next for this unique band of disjointed, dysfunctional but definitely endearing friends? This is the first of the Pearly James Chronicles and author Tony Teleford has left this reviewer wanting to know what happens next. Pearly is a character that is well developed, headstrong and loyal to her friends yet knows where she wants to be and will stop at nothing until she finds somewhere where she can be accepted as Pearly and give up her TRAMP LIFE!
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