Author, James Sniechowski narrates the story mainly through Jim’s inner thoughts which beautifully capture the raw emotions, mental angst, and deep uncertainty that Jim is struggling with. The book also creatively touches on sensitive topics like antisemitism, racism, cultural prejudices and more, bringing awareness and a hard dose of reality to readers as Jim seeks to discover himself. Overall, this book is a perfect ‘home’ for readers of any age who are searching for a sense of belonging in this complicated, chaotic world. ~ Maincrest Media Review
Jim’s running commentary throughout the book is what makes this book so memorable and poignant. Book one (Worship of Hollow Gods) took me back to the 1950s. Book two took me back to the 1960s. They describe the years and life at those times so well. I’m waiting for book three! ~ Carolyn Wilhelm, Reviewer. Curriculum Writer and Author, Wise Owl Factory LLC . Midwest Review Of Books
As James Sniechowski did in his first book of his memoir trilogy, he tells much of this story through his protagonist’s mind, building ever so slowly to a climactic finish. If readers are happy with introspective memoirs, they will enjoy this coming of age memoir, with its raw and honest emotion, its insights into what makes people tick, its reminders of the music and times in 1950s Detroit, and especially the realizations that Jim makes at the end about the ridiculous prejudices that keep races and cultures apart, killing understanding and communication and fostering intolerance. ~ Readers’ Favorites Review
I recommend An Ambition to Belong to people who: enjoy psychological journeys and hearing how the protagonist thinks. ~ Online Book Club Review
I absolutely loved it. I felt each and every character, felt like I was part of the family that Jim described and I even could relate to the anti-Semitism at the end. The further paradox of attitudes of both the police and the priest brought home what people must live with especially when the prejudices are hidden behind the uniforms of the church and law enforcement. The sadness of Jim and Ma were so real that I am certain it was autobiographical. It’s truly a terrific read. ~ Gary Goldberg, Financial Advisor, Suffern NY
Soul Stirring and Heart Opening ~ Human connection: Am I seen? Heard? Do I matter? Do I belong? These, and other vital aspects of developing our sense of Self are poignantly depicted in one teen’s quest for his existence. Stripped of human bonds, acknowledgement, and the support needed while growing up, Jimush forges ahead with great ingenuity & courage in an attempt to find what is so lacking in his environment….a place to belong, a place to feel human connection, a place to feel peace. Superb! ~ Kelly A. Cline PhD
Gripping ~ A young boy’s need for love and connection cuts to the core as his search for it takes him on a journey of self-discovery and that of the world around him. They are hard lessons, beautifully told with memorable characters along the way. It’s a wonderfully poignant story with terrific visual appeal. It would a great film! ~ Clay G.
An Ambition to Belong is a coming-of-age story centered around a close-knit Polish community in 1950’s Detroit. In the book, we see, Jim, the biographical-fiction narrator struggle to defy the dictates of religious hypocrisy, the straightjacket of questionable Old-world values, the taunts from his peers and family, and the reproaches of the voice inside his head, all of which threaten to crush his young spirit. Although Jim is surrounded by many sad examples of the unfulfilled and oppressed life that seems to inevitably await him, he is always poised on the brink of a hopeful revelation. James Sniechowski’s ear for pungent vernacular is unerring and the pivotal episodes in young Jim’s life are rendered with such immediacy and dramatic flair that they completely justify the equally riveting psychological ruminations they inspire. Jim’s capacity for empathy with even the least sympathetic characters and our constant sense of the toll his rebellion is taking on such a young boy, give this autobiographical-novel memoir a unique and unforgettable emotional quality. – Review by International Book Excellence