An Honest Look at Those We Have Forgotten
The Soloist follows Steve Lopez’s journey as he tries to help a former Juilliard student, Nathaniel Ayers, who is now homeless and diagnosed with mental illness. What is so compelling is the honest, close-up view of those whom are mentally ill and the abandonment that has left them with nowhere else to go but the streets. Lopez hails the often unseen mental health workers and volunteers that have dedicated their lives to turning this tragedy into something made of hope. His struggles with the differing viewpoints on treatment and his own impatience bring to life the reality of trying to save the world or even just one person. As I was reading, I felt like I was taking this journey with Lopez. That I was learning just as he was learning. Lopez makes it clear that important life lessons can be learned in the most unsuspecting of places. It is an eye-opening and heartbreaking look at the unpredictability of life and how in an instant everything we know as real can be challenged or even worse – for some – taken away completely.