It has been said that after bread, education, is the number one necessity of the people. Illiteracy is a shackle that limits the freedom to be all that one could aspire to be, and a handicap that deprives one of the ability to participate in and contribute fully to oneís culture and society. In Akin To No One, the reader will follow the struggle of Grace Saint- Jean, a young peasant girl, who longs to learn to read and write, and whose sole ambition is to establish a school for the poor children in her community. Her mother, Therese Saint- Jean, equipped herself with only the rudiments of a primary education, and held back by the fetters of poverty, finds herself relegated to the level of a servant in her own household by the social mores that define her environment. Coupled with the abuse of power and the moral bankruptcy that grips some in authority around them, the Saint-Jean family faces severe trials. But, as is in most life situations, the family comes in contact as well with kind-hearted individuals and other morally upright people who appear throughout the novel, and who help restore our faith in humanity. Rich in folklore, Akin To No One is a social novel that explores not only the validity of manís connection to nature, but the spiritual connections that bind together kindred souls, as well as the alienation that superficial matters of life can cause. The characters as well as the message of this novel are such that will appeal to individuals of all ages and nationalities. Illiteracy is a major problem in the world. It is my hope that this novel will help people everywhere to see education in its proper light, and will motivate them to do all that they can to eradicate illiteracy in their communities and throughout the world. Many nations are poor not because of a lack of money but because they cannot benefit fully from the contributions of all their citizens.

Nicole Titus