How many times have we finished reading a book by an author and wondered what had been this author's inspiration in writing each of their main characters? Well, Rene D. Schultz is the first author I can recall who has given us this information even before we get to the first page of the actual story; and with it, I feel, gives us a somewhat better understanding of the characters themselves.
In "Bishop Street" the author tells the story of Maggie's quest to reunite herself with the only three friends she had growing up in the orphanage, the only home she knew. Those three were friends Elizabeth [the mother in the author's life], Randolph [the successful one] and Lucy [the lost child]. And with the help of Damon she was able to connect with each one again.
It's interesting how Elizabeth wound up isolated in small town in North Dakota on a small farm away from the madness of a large city; and the other three in the same large city on the west coast, with each one of these three having built a wall around their personal lives, and each with their own personal reasons.
Yet, throughout the story there are no long drawn out chapters about their lives of her characters in the orphanage on Bishop Street, just snippets dispersed throughout the story itself which adds to the poignancy of the scene.
While Maggie is basically satisfied with how the first two of her friends have turned out. However, she can't help her desire to help Lucy, the last of her three friends, not only to regain her former dignity and self-respect; but also to regain custody of her daughter who had been taken by social services due to her abuse of alcohol and drugs. Does she succeed? I'm not going to say, it's in the book.
Even though all four of the main characters lives took different paths after they each left the Bishop Street Orphanage, each one took the same single memento of a special day there; a memento they've kept close to them even twenty years later.
Schultz's descriptive style of writing many times pulls you right into the scene being created, and it feels as if the action is taking place in front of you.
Bishop Street is a great poignant of an individual's will to survive and succeed, regardless of what life had brought them. Which is why I'm not hesitating in giving it 5 STARS.