Frank Barnes is content living on the streets of Atlanta A soup kitchen and a makeshift shanty sure beat his days as a POW in Vietnam But Chloe Roberts can t handle the eviction that sends her into the hell of homelessness With no family or friends to turn to, Chloe and her children are sucked into the traumatic world of night shelters, and dangerous predatorsWhen they bump into each other at the soup kitchen, Frank offers Chloe a glimmer of hope that she can pull her life back together She rekindles his lost sense of self worth by taking his mind off his own problems But they will not meet again until Frank is riding high as a working man, and Chloe has hit rock bottomBy helping Chloe rebuild her broken life, Frank banishes the demons from his own past Unfortunately, the past comes strolling back into their lives, threatening to destroy the happiness they have finally found


10 thoughts on “Losing It All

  1. Olivia McCloskey Olivia McCloskey says:

    Losing It All follows the stories of U.S Vietnam veteran, Frank, who was left unemployed and homeless after the war, and Chloe, a young, married woman with two small children and a husband who has her Both characters, finding themselves on the streets, grapple with emotional and mental challenges throughout the novel, constantly seeking a way to escape their current living conditions and pave a better life for themselves When their separate tales intertwine, they each serve as a source of hop Losing It All follows the stories of U.S Vietnam veteran, Frank, who was left unemployed and homeless after the war, and Chloe, a young, married woman with two small children and a husband who has her Both characters, finding themselves on the streets, grapple with emotional and mental challenges throughout the novel, constantly seeking a way to escape their current living conditions and pave a better life for themselves When their separate tales intertwine, they each serve as a source of hope for the other, allowing them to overcome their challenging pasts.I haven t read many books featuring such a large array of homeless characters, so I wasn t exactly sure what to expect Cornelius, however, did an excellent job immortalizing such a prevalent and universal theme in her writing, exposing many of the challenges posed by a life on the streets Frank is able to make the most of his situation, satisfied with only basic necessities Upon realizing that he has the power to dictate his future, Frank secures a job as a stablehand, moving into and renovating a nearby house Chloe, similarly, is evicted from her apartment and forced to rebuild her life while simultaneously caring for her children With a bit of assistance from Frank along the way, she is able to pick up the pieces and start anew Cornelius did an excellent job with both of the main character s characterization, portraying their physical and emotional development throughout the novel She accurately portrayed their grief and senses of helplessness as they struggled to adapt to change Most importantly, Cornelius stressed their necessary reliance upon one another.I was quite surprised by the number of unexpected twists and turns For the most part, the plot left me on my toes One of my only complaints was the cliche horse theme that was introduced in the latter half of the novel Upon receiving a job as a stablehand, Frank immediately befriends the nasty, ornery horse that intentionally raises hell for every other character in the bookexcept for Frank, of course Through their daily interactions and training sessions, Frank tames the seemingly untamable gelding, astonishing his employers From the moment horses were introduced, I could tell that it would simply be a rehashing of the most common and significantly overused equestrian plot, which has gotten a bit old at this point There were also a few inaccuracies regarding horse care and training which the average reader likely would not have picked up I ll admit, I am nitpicking a bit here.Overall, Losing It All was a quick, but enlightening read It stresses the importance of not judging a man s character based upon his physical appearance, but upon his actions, a lesson which all of us tend to forget from time to time Note I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.


  2. Terry Tyler Terry Tyler says:

    The novel is set mostly around Atlanta, Georgia in the US Frank is a Vietnam vet whose life has crashed and burned, leaving him a vagrant trying to scratch out an existence as best he can Chloe is a small town, na ve mother of two who has allowed her path through life to be determined by others When husband Duane deserts her, everything gradually falls apart and she ends up in a shelter for homeless women.Marsha Cornelius has clearly put a great deal of research into this story I recently wa The novel is set mostly around Atlanta, Georgia in the US Frank is a Vietnam vet whose life has crashed and burned, leaving him a vagrant trying to scratch out an existence as best he can Chloe is a small town, na ve mother of two who has allowed her path through life to be determined by others When husband Duane deserts her, everything gradually falls apart and she ends up in a shelter for homeless women.Marsha Cornelius has clearly put a great deal of research into this story I recently watched the 1960s BBC UK drama documentary Cathy Come Home , which shows how easily families in the UK in the 1960s could descend from keeping their heads above water into homelessness this book had the same effect on me It s shocking, but so real, and really made me think about how so many people are just a couple of salary cheques away from the street The details of both Chloe and Frank s struggles are very well illustrated, as is their climb back to something approaching normality though indeed, what they consider normal is not the conventional lifestyle some would expect.The message of this book is definitely one of love and relationships matteringthan anything else, and about it being the simple things in life that can bring the most happiness The romantic aspect of the story was perfectly portrayed too, I thought not schmaltzy, or overtly sexy for the sake of it but just touching and true to life.It s a story about love and hope, the goodwill of friends, and the discovery of inner strength Recommended


  3. Julayn Adams Julayn Adams says:

    This book literally took me forever to read Now, part of that was life getting in the way, i.e migraines, writing, kids But, I have to admit, part of it was procrastination Don t get me wrong Losing it All is a good book Let me explainFrank is a Vietnam War vet who, as you can imagine, has suffered a great deal He lives with chronic pain, nightmares, and a broken heart Because of this, Frank decides to distance himself from traditional life When he first leaves the VA, he is a hard, This book literally took me forever to read Now, part of that was life getting in the way, i.e migraines, writing, kids But, I have to admit, part of it was procrastination Don t get me wrong Losing it All is a good book Let me explainFrank is a Vietnam War vet who, as you can imagine, has suffered a great deal He lives with chronic pain, nightmares, and a broken heart Because of this, Frank decides to distance himself from traditional life When he first leaves the VA, he is a hard, angry drunk trying to numb the pain , but finds himself again through the help of his homeless friends Frank has demons, but he is a good and honest man, a faithful friend, and has a great deal of self respect I like Frank.It s Chloe I didn t like at all Chloe had a difficult upbringing with a stepfather who abused her She then married an abusive man who abandoned her and her two children She loses her home and car and ends up in a shelter for women In every sense of the word, Chloe is a victim And she lives like one Throughout the majority of the book, she whines about her life and what people have done to her She seems to careabout her hair and makeup in the shelter than being strong for her kids Now, don t start yelling at me, telling me that I am heartless or don t have any compassion The fact is, Chloe and I, sadly, have much in common I lived in a homeless shelter for pregnant women when I was pregnant with my first child The circumstances were different, but it was horrible The worst part was that life would only get worse The thing is, I feel for Chloe I ve lived her life and then some I just have a difficult time with her weakness I felt very sorry for myself as a teenager, but once I had my son, it changed everything.Overall, this was a good book a little slow, but good I just wish that Chloe had grown to be a strong woman, instead of just getting lucky to have found Frank I would have liked to have seen the last couple of chapters have gone a little differently so that Chloe could have been a heroine instead of a lucky victim who finally found a good man.Losing it All is a difficult book for me to rate because, while I think I should have enjoyed itthat s why I kept reading , I just didn t.Thank you to the author for offering me a copy of Losing it All in exchange for my honest review 2.5 starswww.julaynadams.wordpress.com


  4. Alicia Huxtable Alicia Huxtable says:

    Feel good readThis story is quite the rags to riches story Frank is such a great character that he quickly became my favourite and I really hoped he would pull it together Chloe and the kids added that little extra


  5. Literati Literature Lovers Literati Literature Lovers says:

    Robbie s Review In her third novel, Losing It All, author Marsha Cornelius puts into words, as the title indicates, what is likely one of the greatest fears we all have, particularly in these difficult economic times Even though the book is set in the 80 s, the subject matter is timeless, touching on many social issues such as displaced veterans, the homeless, domestic abuse, incest and rape issues which continue to be a part of our society Frank Barnes is not your typical book boyfriend, bu Robbie s Review In her third novel, Losing It All, author Marsha Cornelius puts into words, as the title indicates, what is likely one of the greatest fears we all have, particularly in these difficult economic times Even though the book is set in the 80 s, the subject matter is timeless, touching on many social issues such as displaced veterans, the homeless, domestic abuse, incest and rape issues which continue to be a part of our society Frank Barnes is not your typical book boyfriend, but you may fall a little in love with him, as I did, before the end of the book From their first meeting, Frank feels a special connection with Chloe Roberts even though she seems to beconcerned with the color of her nail polish than the devastating blow she has been dealt in life He took her hand for a quick shake, but at that moment of contact, with palm against palm, the nerve endings in his hand seemed to vibrate That slight tremor ran quickly up his arm and across his chest jarring something loose that had been in a deep sleep for a very long time Blood that had slowly trickled through his veins for years suddenly rushed to his head His heart lurched in a a crazy fast rhythm One of the criteria I look for in rating a book is the author s ability to show rather than tell a story There is no doubt Marsha Cornelius has the gift In looking for passages to quote in my review, it was notable that I found no pontificating in the narrative, but rather page after page of descriptive language showing the reader all the anguish, fear, heartache, rejection, love, pride and joy these characters are feeling And, as the reader, I felt what the characters were feeling, not because the author told me what I ought to be feeling , but because she put me inside her characters The night Frank found out he was number sixteen in the draft, he and Candy crawled into the back of his 59 Impala to grind their hips against each other in desperation She cried the whole time If he had know how soon he d be sweltering in that Godforsaken jungle, or how long he d lay helpless in that dirt pit waiting to die, he might have bawled right along with her I would never categorize Losing It All as a romance novel, but it is the best kind of love story There is no sexy billionaire, no long legged beauty in stiletto heels and a pencil skirt, and there are no young professionals going clubbing at the end of the work day Many of the characters live in constant fear that what little they have may be taken away just as surely as the carefully nurtured link between Frank and Chloe may be broken by a threat from the past I need you Chloe I want you to stay here Forever I want to take care of you I want you to take care of me This book is superbly written, hard to put down and as to the endingas the saying goesthings turn out just the way they re supposed to.Disclaimer I received a copy of this book directly from the author I was not paid to read or review this book All opinions are my own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone


  6. Cathy Ryan Cathy Ryan says:

    Frank and Chloe, for completely different reasons find themselves homeless Frank is happy enough on the streets, collecting cans each day to make a little money After the horrors of fighting and battling to survive in the Vietnam war, he returns to the US disabled and ignored and turns to alcohol and drugs to dull the physical and mental pain Another homeless man, Randall, helps Frank work through his issues, get dried out and cleaned up They forge a close friendship.Frank makes the most of Frank and Chloe, for completely different reasons find themselves homeless Frank is happy enough on the streets, collecting cans each day to make a little money After the horrors of fighting and battling to survive in the Vietnam war, he returns to the US disabled and ignored and turns to alcohol and drugs to dull the physical and mental pain Another homeless man, Randall, helps Frank work through his issues, get dried out and cleaned up They forge a close friendship.Frank makes the most of the little he has, with his good friends and the little community they have built When all Frank knows is destroyed horrifically and violently one night, and he almost loses his life, he doesn t know whether he will be able to claw his way back again Until a chance meeting changes his life forever.Chloe, after being abandoned by her husband, and with no one to turn to for help, is left with two children and debts she can t pay off After losing her home and all her possessions, she doesn t know how her life could get any worse But it can a whole lot worse Sinking further and further into a pit of despair and hopelessness, Chloe can t se a way forward She is at the mercy of a very defective system of shelters, incompetent childcare and predatory men, leaving her emotionally battered and completely drained Until a helping hand reaches out to pull her back from the brink.The story is told from both Frank s and Chloe s points of view It brings home the stark reminder that the homeless of this world are actually out there, struggling to survive from day to day against sometimes unimaginable odds Losing it all How far can one person fall before all hope is gone This is a fascinating book with wonderfully developing characters and a sometimes harrowing storyline, dealing with the complex issues and situations the homeless can, andthan likely do, face.I was drawn to Frank immediately, there s depth and authenticity in his character He s had a really rough deal but despite everything he cares about others and does whatever he can to help Chloe hasn t had a happy life and, I think partly because of that, chose poorly when it came to a husband and father for her children The two characters lives are interlinked and brought together in a compelling and profound storyline Their portrayal is genuine, believable and endearing The writing is accomplished and descriptive with a reality that encompasses so many emotions, hope, love, anguish, misery, all of which shine through the narrative A really excellent read which enforces the old adage, never judge a book You never really know the true story behind a person s appearance and what events forced them into a certain situation Or how a single act of kindness can be the start of changing someone s life for the better


  7. Stacie Stacie says:

    Losing It All is the heart wrenching and well contrived story of homelessness, despair, hope, and finally a chance to begin anew Frank is a Vietnam War Veteran like many other heroes, he lives on the streets He figures nothing could be worse than his time spent as a POW, but he soon discovers just how violent the streets of Atlanta can be Chloe is also learning a thing or two about the streets after being evicted from her apartment with no where to turn and two small children to look after S Losing It All is the heart wrenching and well contrived story of homelessness, despair, hope, and finally a chance to begin anew Frank is a Vietnam War Veteran like many other heroes, he lives on the streets He figures nothing could be worse than his time spent as a POW, but he soon discovers just how violent the streets of Atlanta can be Chloe is also learning a thing or two about the streets after being evicted from her apartment with no where to turn and two small children to look after She seeks refuge at the women s shelter and for the sake of her kids tries to follow the routine of day shelters, night shelters, and soup kitchens During a visit to the soup kitchen she meets Frank She is appalled by is haggard appearances, and although he seems helpful, Chloe shies away from him Chloe isdetermined than ever to get herself and her kids off the streets But, just when her situation seems to be turning around devastation strikes from all directions Now, completely hopeless Chloe is but a shell of her former self Can she overcome the tragedy her life has become Meanwhile, Frank has be given a second chance and he plans to do whatever it takes to keep from screwing things up He has a job, plenty of food, clean clothes, and shelter It seems his life couldn t get any better so when he sees a zombie like Chloe and her two children in front of the Roswell shelter he is compelled to help them Chloe is resistant and it takes some coaxing to get her to bring the kids and go with him Chloe is no longer the woman Frank remembered and he s not sure she will ever be again, but he s determined to do what he can.Losing It All is completely captivating and utterly heartbreaking, yet it is also a testament to the power of the human spirit Just when Frank is ready to give up a miracle puts Ray in his life and when Chloe loses all hope a miracle brings her Frank Despite heartache, good comes to those who deserve it and that in itself left me inspired I also have to admit that when little Ethan muttered those three little words to Frank I felt my heart leap and my eyes filled with tears The author effectively brings her characters to life on the pages and her ability to spin a fascinating tale shines through I absolutely loved Losing It All and highly recommend picking up a copy


  8. Dani Dani says:

    Originally posted here onlybooksandhorses.wordpress.comI won this book as part of a competition on Confessions of a Book Geek, so thank you so much to Rachel and Marsha I always get a bit nervous about this sort of thing, because people know you have the book what if you don t enjoy it Luckily, I had absolutely nothing to worry about I loved this book to bits and read it in three sittings.Set in Atlanta, Losing It All follows the stories of an ex soldier Frank and a young mother aban Originally posted here onlybooksandhorses.wordpress.comI won this book as part of a competition on Confessions of a Book Geek, so thank you so much to Rachel and Marsha I always get a bit nervous about this sort of thing, because people know you have the book what if you don t enjoy it Luckily, I had absolutely nothing to worry about I loved this book to bits and read it in three sittings.Set in Atlanta, Losing It All follows the stories of an ex soldier Frank and a young mother abandoned in financial difficulty by her husband They both find themselves living on the streets, and in horrific circumstances, and have to begin the fight to rebuild their lives This isn t just a book about homelessness, or finding your feet it s a really fantastic story, beautiful for its gritty tragedy.The writing is sleek and well crafted, and I love how perceptive Ms Cornelius is Her characters are wonderful they drag you into their world, and force you to face up to whatever insidious stereotypes we might have been holding on to They are so credible, and their struggles and triumphs are profoundly moving to There was a point that confused me when Frank had the three year old girl playing a card game, but maybe that s just me underestimating the game playing capacity of a child that age.The book is so thorough, and has obviously been really well researched, and yet all of this is balanced with beautiful story telling It has heart, and that makes it special.I did get a little nervous about the introduction of horses into the story I can t remember the last time I read a horse story that wasn t cliche and disappointing This book dabbles a little in the plot points we re used to, and them tramples them and makes its own path Kudos to you, Marsha I loved it.The powerful themes of family, abuse, trust and as the title may suggest loss, are incredibly effective, and dealt with both candidly and tastefully Some parts of the story are not easy to read, but the balance is there, and it serves to make the endingbreathtaking.I m in love with this story, and I look forward to returning for a re read some time


  9. Ginger Snaps Ginger Snaps says:

    This was a phenomenal book It s not a bodice ripping romance, but a story that has some romance in it This story is full of depth and struggle for two people who have lost everything and do everything they can to survive and thrive We start with Frank, a disabled Vietnam vet of the age of 34, who gave up on life and ended up living on the streets He initially tried to get a job with the help of his friends, but his having served in Vietnam made it difficult for him to get accepted by employe This was a phenomenal book It s not a bodice ripping romance, but a story that has some romance in it This story is full of depth and struggle for two people who have lost everything and do everything they can to survive and thrive We start with Frank, a disabled Vietnam vet of the age of 34, who gave up on life and ended up living on the streets He initially tried to get a job with the help of his friends, but his having served in Vietnam made it difficult for him to get accepted by employers who were so caught up in the national divide and overall bad feeling regarding Vietnam Veterans So Frank gives up and becomes comfortable in his community of homeless friends until an awful event forces him to try once again to make something of himself Meanwhile Chloe and her two kids are abandoned by her husband and thrown out on the street when she can t make rent She faces this new world of homelessness and confusion and we live it with her as she tries to provide for her family and keep her kids safe This book is so full of depth The writing is superb It is written in a way that we are right there with Frank and Chloe, living their experiences with them We are rooting for them to find success and happiness This book does have a HEA, but it s a realistic one, not a fairy tale one and yet a beautiful ending for Frank, for Chloe and for her kids This book gave me an inside look at what it s like to suddenly lose everything and to be reliant on state run shelters as well as the dangers of living on the street I feel this book has actually changed me for the better and has given mecompassion for those who are struggling after having lost everything This was truly a phenomenal book I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


  10. Richard Bunning Richard Bunning says:

    Cornelius sets the reader right into the tough trough of a city s squalid underbelly We can imagine ourselves looking into the concrete underpasses of whatever modern urban environment we may know, as a similar story could be written there a thousand times The ending may be less kind, less relieved by love, but the story will be much the same True life, sadly, often reads like this.We are made to see how easy it is to fall so low that an unexpectedly dry corner in the most derelict of landsca Cornelius sets the reader right into the tough trough of a city s squalid underbelly We can imagine ourselves looking into the concrete underpasses of whatever modern urban environment we may know, as a similar story could be written there a thousand times The ending may be less kind, less relieved by love, but the story will be much the same True life, sadly, often reads like this.We are made to see how easy it is to fall so low that an unexpectedly dry corner in the most derelict of landscapes can come to feel like a treasure, a blessing even Life can be so much worse than living in the shelter of a sturdy cardboard box with just enough mouldy bread or a nearby soup kitchen.This is a story of continuing hope despite the worst of what life can throw at us, of dealing with whatever damage we are responsible for drawing onto ourselves, of dealing with the consequences of physical and mental abuse a love story despite the engulfing scum We are made to see how long and how tough the march from true poverty truly is.Beautifully written, completely believable, a story that is often paralleled in some way by the real lives of societies all too real outcasts The end was a great relief We must finally remember that very few such badly blighted lives end with so much fulfilled hope This third novel by Cornelius is as different as was each of the first two Each one is of the same high quality I will be reading Marsha Cornelius s next work, whatever genre she picks