In the War Zone by John Henry Brebbia
In The War Zone is an uncommon love story about a street fighter raised by his
mother in a trashy trailer park on the edge of the black ghetto in Las Vegas.
The title is a metaphor for the mean streets of Gibb Quinn’s gangbanger
neighborhood. Gibb’s rise out of poverty to a successful business career as a
star computer salesman is a quintessential American success story. That is,
until the Big Byte Corporation transfers him to a small coastal town in New
England to rescue a failing retail outlet. Chatham, Connecticut is populated by
narrow-minded people who treat Gibb as a hustler from Sin City. Matters take a
turn for the worse when he clashes with the powers that be that rule the town
like royalty. Yale graduates one and all, the powers that be resent his
developing interest in Alicia Farrell, the town beauty who happens to be engaged
to one of their own. From there the story proceeds apace to its unforeseen
Gibb Quinn was raised by his mother in a trailer park in a gangbanger neighborhood in Las Vegas. She worked and sacrificed much so that she could pay for Gibb's private school education, not allowing him to rely on charity, because charity was for losers. His father was an abusive gambler who only came around to rough up his mother and remove any money she managed to save. She wanted her son to succeed. He did succeed, but before he could get his mother out of the trailer park, she died from cancer that he wasn't even aware she was suffering from. His guilt over this plagues him through the book and plays a major role in his relationships with God and people. He often wants to help people, believes they can be saved if they try hard enough, but refuses to attend mass anymore.
He grows to be a shining star in computer sales for the Big Byte company and is sent to a small town in Connecticut when their branch is failing in order to turn things around. He is thrust into a setting where strangers are not welcome, and is further ostracised when the rumor filled closed minded members of the town decide he is interested in Alicia Farrel. Alicia is engaged, but seems to pursue a relationship with Gibb anyway. Gibb is torn between his attraction to Alicia, and his live in relationship with local cocktail waitress, Sally. Sally has an on and off relationship with the local drug dealer, and she ends up leaving Gibb to go back to the drugs.
When the town comes down on him and boycotts his company because they believe he is breaking up Alicia and her fiance, Gibb has tough choices to make. Does he stay in Chatham, or go back to Seattle and take the position offered to him by his patron?
The story is well written and thought provoking, and if you have ever lived in a small town, probably familiar in many aspects. You will probably find yourself rooting for Gibb and Alicia to break free from the chains of what is expected and take a chance on each other. I enjoyed this book, but when it came to the end? The end is no where in sight. You will have to read the next book, which I can only assume/hope is coming, to find out what happens between Alicia and Gibb. I certainly would like to find out.
I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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