Author Gerald Myers dissects friendship and the trials it can withstand in his masterful, breathtaking book, “Michael’s Place”

October 22 23:21 2021
Author Gerald Myers brings another emotional and breathtaking fictional read with “Michael’s Place”, a novel infused with the complex themes of human expression and relationships while grappling with the bonds of friendship in a way that has never felt more honest and authentic.

With the release of Michael’s Place, Gerald Myers delivers another acclaimed novel in which he does a deep dive into the theme of friendship, specifically exploring the trials and tribulations it can withstand. 

Michael’s Place is the story of two adolescents from two dramatically different backgrounds and ethnicities who, in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion, in the summer of 1978, befriend each other. 

The Jewish boy is staying with his grandparents, while his Italian counterpart is a street urchin addicted to meth, part of a gang comprised mostly of Blacks and Puerto Ricans and also moonlights as a courier for the Sicilian mob. 

It is a study that poses the question, what has a stronger influence on the actions and behaviors of such young men, the promise of stability that accompanies strong, moralistic values and an intact family structure, versus the excitement of sex, drugs and embarking on illicit exploits?

It further zeroes in on a test to see if friendship can survive the likes of betrayal, murder, incarceration, then followed by decades of separation. It also examines how ordinary people deal with extraordinary circumstances.

The inspiration for the book came when, in the mid-eighties, while attending a seminar in Pittsburgh, the author met Michael Lepera, a sculpted, smooth-talking, well-groomed personal trainer. 

“We became acquaintances, then fast friends,” Dr. Myers related. “Over time, Michael shared his past with me, a past that included living in a small town near Valley Forge in Eastern Pennsylvania, being the son of a divorced mother who, to avoid her string of intolerant boyfriends, made him live on the streets where he mainlined methamphetamine, fenced stolen furniture, robbed liquor stores, and ran with a local gang.” 

Initially, the author commented, it was hard to reconcile that person with the individual who sat across from him. 

Gerald went on to explain how the now-grown man had shown him his driver’s license photo, taken when Michael was sixteen, revealing a gaunt, pock-marked face, with stringy, greasy shoulder-length hair. It was then that Lepera’s past became real for him. 

“Since I, too, hailed from Eastern Pennsylvania,” the author continued, “it was then that I entertained the notion of what would happen if someone like me, this wholesome, compliant, studious, yet athletic adolescent from the Jewish ghetto of Northeast Philadelphia, encountered the likes of a Michael Lepera during one of those summer-long visits to my grandparents’ house in Strawberry Mansion.” 

The book is an excellent choice for anyone who savors an entertaining coming-of-age novel with strong, interesting characters who are forced to navigate dangerous situations, young love, and even the Sicilian mob’s heroin trade that reached its zenith in the late seventies and early eighties. 

“But mostly, it’s for someone interested in the nature of friendship and the trials and tribulations it can withstand,” he added.

Those interested to get a copy of the book can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Book Depository

Writers’ Branding, a full-service self-publishing company, has been leading the charge in bringing out the book to the public, providing many authors exclusive access to publicity.

The author, a recently retired physician and a Philadelphia native, relocated to Colorado in 2003 after practicing in Pittsburgh for over 20 years. 

While continuing his occupation as a full-time cardiologist, Gerald’s passion for creative writing, which began during childhood, blossomed at Pitt as the university’s student sports editor, then came to fruition with the publication of his first novel, Muted Colors in the spring of 2001. 

Eight years later, this critically acclaimed medical thriller was adapted into a suspenseful screenplay under the new title, Heart of Rose. Both in the interim, and since, he has gone on to pen five other works of fiction, including two coming of age novels, The Other Side of Innocence and Michael’s Place, a historical thriller, Lethal Legacy, a psychological thriller, The Song of the Siren, and most recently, a very personal fictionalized memoir, The Flight of the Peacock. 

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