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More than anything, eight-year-old Jesse Hall wants his divorced parents to reconcile. Despite witnessing the pain his dad inflicts when he is drunk, Jesse knows it’s the alcohol, not his dad. “If I write him, I might make him stop drinking and gambling, then we can all be together.”

Despite Jesse’s fervent prayers, his dad misses child support payments, keeps gambling, and remains an alcoholic. To make ends meet Jesse delivers papers, collects deposit money on abandoned pop bottles, and inspects change slots of vending machines while his mom sews and cleans for people in the town.

As Jesse continues to pray and plead for his dad’s return, there are people in the town who have other plans for him: a pair of school bullies and a local preacher who tries to move Jesse to foster care by reporting his mom as unfit to a well-meaning social worker. It’s the 1950’s.

How can Jesse and his penniless mother keep their family from being torn further apart? How do they survive their poverty? Will the town turn on them or save them? Watch how Jesse’s girlfriend, the deputy Sheriff, a five-and-dime clerk, and a mummified corpse help Jesse face his dilemma.

Jesse Sings is the first book of the three book series, Searching for Family, a coming-of-age novel about a son trying to save his father.

If you like books like Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, you will love this Best Book Award 2018 Finalist by Victor Hess.


Victor Hess’ first novel, Jesse Sings, is the first of three books centered on the world of Jesse Hall. Jesse Sings was acknowledged as a finalist in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition in 2015 (Novel-In-Progress category.) Victor’s work has also received Honorable Mention in a Glimmer Train Competition and a finalist in the 2017 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. As a former businessman and before that a Bomb Disposal instructor in the U.S. Army, he now lives in Xenia, Ohio with his wife and dog where he writes full time.