About the Novel
A JUST MAN IS HARD TO FIND, by Jeanne E. Hammond
In the year 2010, at a prestigious college in the nation’s capital, one young man wonders what American dream to pin his hopes on. America’s economy is flat-lining and many citizens are dispirited, but Will Gray seems unaffected until his own fortunes change and he can no longer count on going to law school, or even having a place to sleep. When Will finds an abandoned baby near Union Station, he decides to take a good look at justice in America –- he surveys all of D.C. ahead of the census takers!
A history buff, Will reads widely –- but his desire to understand justice is not an armchair affair. He wants to be just, especially when he realizes that a young woman he cares about –- and the abandoned infant he saved –- may be depending on him. From his survey, Will learns that justice today has a lot to do with knowing someone cares about you. He organizes a first-ever public forum on the abortion right on the National Mall and briefs a case on father’s rights. With reason and compassion, Will illuminates one of the most divisive issues of our time.
A Just Man Is Hard to Find is available as a trade paperback from these sellers:
A Kindle version is now available on Amazon, as well.
Anne Boling, Reader’s Favorite
“Rarely has a book touched me the way A Just Man Is Hard To Find has. This is not a book that can be read quickly or taken lightly. It is a story that reaches deep inside an individual and pulls out the true essence of the reader. Will Gray wanted to find the true meaning of “just.” I think he found that the meaning existed deep within his own person, as it is deep within me and deep within you. A Just Man Is Hard To Find is a well written tale that is destined to be a classic.”
Jim Casey, New York City
“Ambitious really is the word that came to me as I boiled water for a cup of coffee after reading the last line of the story. Your novel actually reminded me of War and Peace and how it wrestles with big philosophical questions. It explores the meaning of human relationships –- with fathers, natural and surrogate; children, born and unborn, natural or adopted; and friends and lovers and strangers we pass on the street.”
Jo Ann Jordan, independent reviewer on GoodReads
“This wonderful book explores many questions that should concern any American. It gives some historical background for life as it is lived today and invites us to look deeper. The main character, Will Gray, becomes a more understanding and caring person through the things he experiences. Can a person in today’s society live justly? The answers given and the romance detailed are ample reasons to read this novel.
“I highly recommend this beautifully written book.”
Please email us with your questions or comments. A list of questions for your book club discussion is available upon request. The author answers one discussion question below.
Three or four years before writing A Just Man Is Hard to Find, I reread Miguel Cervantes’ breathless novel, Don Quixote. I found it a rich farce –- one that I could speed read and still get most of the comic relief –- but I slowed down toward the end, feeling the weight of pathos –- the sense that Quixote was defeated, his insane, persistent idealism was sunk. The hapless knight had wanted to think the best of himself and those he loved, but his ideal of goodness and right didn’t save him in the end. He died a broken man. And the Don’s defeat stayed with me as a kind of symbol of what many men I know seem to feel today.
American men have defended, rallied, hammered the world hard, then raged on after grasping that America is not always just, not always right. These self-declared knights are discovering, painfully too, that for many others that ideal of American manhood is an anachronism — as worn out as the Christian knight’s code was when Cervantes wrote Quixote.
That is the connection I thought Will Gray might feel with the old knight Quixote. Will’s ideal of manhood, inherited from his father, is no longer adaptive. Will can no longer expect to rake in the bucks as a hot-shot lawyer, have a lovely wife on his arm, two handsome children, and a home in Connecticut, ten years out of college. That was his Dad’s life. Will’s life is taking a different course, even before he realizes it.
Perhaps American manhood is in transition? Even before Will considers that, he senses it and spoofs Quixote and himself for caring so much. Yes, Will looks high and low for his just man, an ideal of manhood to emulate. Of course, I counted on Will caring enough to see his quest through, and he did. Will finds his just man.
Now I’m following Will’s adventure to Puerto Rico, where he’s gone in search of true love.