Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me, Jerry McGill

dear marcus

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One Response to “Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me, Jerry McGill”

  1. Kamryn C. Says:

    When Jerry McGill was young and growing up in the housing projects located in the the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1980’s, his future seemed bright and successful. Even though times were tough for his family, led by his single mother, Jerry was a charming, intelligent young teenager, who also excelled at athletics and was bound to become a famous dancer. Just when life seemed to be finally working out, everything changed for Jerry one night when he was thirteen. Walking home with a friend from a New Year’s Eve party, Jerry is shot in the back by an unknown assailant who is never caught. Jerry, left paralyzed by the shooting, learns that he must face the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

    Written as a letter to the unknown man who shot him, who McGill decides to name Marcus, Dear Marcus is a reflection on the life and childhood of Jerry. The novel details the event which changed Jerry’ life forever, the hardships which he faces living with a disability, learning the importance of optimism in life, receiving encouragement to be persistent, and to make the most of our time here on earth.

    This direct and intimate novel explains to his attacker the chain reaction of his deed on that cold January night. In the novel, McGill takes us with him as he recounts his life story on the the streets of New York ‘80s, in the hospital where he spent six months recovering from his life-threatening injury, and on the rest of his journey to make the most of life with his new challenges. McGill recounts the delights he experienced while traveling the globe and mentoring children who face similar disabilities as his own; the love and support he receives by special people in his life, and the immense strength he discovered within himself to fight back against the tough times and make the most out of his time on earth.

    This novel is simultaneously brutally honest, funny, filled with heart and full of bitterness. Dear Marcus is an inspirational novel about the moments that shape us in life. These are the moments that catch us by surprise, ones that deceive us, but they also present us with opportunities for growth and reflection, as well as compassion, and forgiveness. At some point we are all going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and unfortunately that meant losing the ability for Jerry to move his legs. In life the challenge, as Dear Marcus exemplifies, is not to wallow in despair or to blame other people for the events of the past, but to rise up and discover strength within ourselves in places that we never knew it existed.

    I am in love with this book and the lessons that it presented to me. This book was simultaneously beautiful and painful. McGill is beautifully worded and presents a perspective that not many people can share. Fortunately, I have never experienced a situation even remotely close to that of Marcus, however I connected to this memoir on a deep spiritual level. This novel taught me that you can’t let your past affect the rest of your life, you must rise above adversity and build yourself up. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their past and could use some encouragement to forgive and forget. Overall, this book was entertaining and it drew me in quickly. I give praise to McGill for being a fabulous writer and for inspiring me through his meaningful words.

    4.5/5 Stars

    I Remember Running by Darcy Wakefield

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