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Publisher's Summary

A fierce and heartbreaking debut from FOLD founder Jael Richardson about a young woman with the courage to determine her own future

Imagine a world in which the hopeless and vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society. Imagine a world divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. In that world lives Elimina Dubois, one of only 100 children selected as a social experiment by the Mainland government to be taken from their mothers in the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity. 

But when her Mainland mother dies when Elimina is just a teenager, Elimina finds herself all alone, forced into an unfamiliar life of servitude, unsure of who she is and where she belongs. When she makes friends with Gutter children, each making their own way through the crushing cycle of the Gutter System in whatever ways they know how, Elimina will discover that the thing she needs more than anything may not be the freedom she imagined after all.  

Gutter Child takes us on the journey of a young woman in a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and horrific injustices. Richardson’s Elimina is a modern heroine in an altered but all too recognizable reality, who, must find the strength within herself to determine her own future and defy a system that tries to shape her destiny.

Jael Richardson is the Artistic Director of The FOLD literary festival, the books columnist on CBC Radio’s ‘q’ and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity. She is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The book received a CBC Bookie Award and earned Richardson an Acclaim Award and a My People Award as an Emerging Artist. A children’s book called The Stone Thrower was published by Groundwood Books in 2016. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room’s first Women of Colour edition, and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, are published in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers. Richardson has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and she lives in Brampton, Ontario.

©2021 Jael Richardson (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Gutter Child

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It Could Have Been Good

I liked the idea of the story and where it was going, it just didn’t have enough to keep me going. After a month trying and only getting through about 7 hours I am finally calling it a day.

11 people found this helpful

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Yawn worthy

This book is extremely boring and not worth the time it's taking to write this.

9 people found this helpful

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Monotone and emotionless

The narrator had no inflection or emotion. I didn't find the characters interesting at all and I couldn't get attached to them. May have been the narrators fault.

7 people found this helpful

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Tender, gut-wrenching, hopeful

Loved this gut wrenching depiction of an eerily familiar dystopian world. There is tenderness, courage, friendship, and page-turning action. I could not stop listening!

4 people found this helpful

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Gutter Child review

A hauntingly beautiful story of colonialism and its destruction. Well written and well performed. Thank you.

3 people found this helpful

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Ending not good

The ending leaves you completely hanging. So many unanswered questions. Good story and message . I enjoyed the book

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

A good book should have you fully immersed in the universe it has created. This book lacked so much description that by the end I was still grappling with what anything would truly be like. Also, every story needs a set up, a confrontation and a resolution. This booked lacked in truly delivering on any of these, so the story is weak. I actually finishedit by saying "what a waste of time". It's too bad too as the author was setting us up for some potentially very good commentary on so many aspects of today's society, but in the end it just dropped the ball. The narration was also pretty bleh.

2 people found this helpful

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Depressing

The book is woefully depressing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — there are other books that deal with sombre themes and narratives (e.g., the bluest eye) that i enjoyed. But I found every character apart from Josephine and maybe Rowan to be exceedingly dull. I found this a real slog to get through.

2 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking reality

The book was narrated by a pleasant voice. It was an easy listen and at times I didn’t not want to stop listening. I was sad at the end but it truly depicted the reality of the situation rather than a fairy tail ending ...a definite must read.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story idea but…

Narration wasn’t great the story has good bones but it wasn’t very detailed where it should be. The ending sucked hard

1 person found this helpful