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Author: Len Joy

Reviewer: Florence Osmund



The Hook

Family, friendship, and incisive personal insights combine with politics, corruption, and occupational stressors in FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD—a well-written, well-structured novel with plenty of drama, conflict, and tension to keep readers engaged throughout the book.

Plot Summary

Life really sucks sometimes. At least this is what Jake Doyle thinks when he’s confronted with one life-changing obstacle after another. His once prominent position of syndicated editorial columnist at the Chicago Tribune has been reduced to writing a single bi-weekly column for the paper, and now even this job is in jeopardy. His unmarried, alcoholic daughter is leaning toward having an abortion. The woman he loves is slipping through his fingers. His son’s life is in imminent danger. And Jake inadvertently uncovers dirt on a man who aspires to run for president. Adding more drama to his situation are a fashion-savvy, right-wing, pro-life activist ex-wife; a deceased ex-lover with whom he has nightly conversations; and a liberal, lesbian roommate. Fortunately, Jake’s best friend Enyart—part-time bartender, part-time boxing coach—keeps him grounded as needed.


A well-structured plot, memorable characters, and a real-world setting make FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD a book worth reading, one that many will be able to connect with on a personal level. Several controversial social issues—gun control, women’s rights, and political extremism—deftly fold into the narrative to enhance the plot, add literary value, and help set the story in current times.


Colorful, beautifully-flawed characters that come to life on the pages have distinctive personalities and motivations that make them interesting and set apart from each other. Rich and meaningful interactions between them deepen their connections and add significant impact to the story. Compelling inner and external conflict for the protagonist helps to evolve his character right up until the end when he becomes a changed man.


Joy’s fluid writing style is easy to follow with good word choice, rhythm, and well-constructed pacing. Each scene and chapter fulfills a purpose and serves to move the story forward, guiding readers through the narrative and encouraging them to continue reading as the story elements are skillfully woven together.


The author takes a creative risk with an ambiguous ending—one that some will find thought-provoking but others will find baffling. Perhaps he is setting things up for a sequel?


On a scale of 1 to 5, FREEDOM’S JUST ANOTHER WORD is rated 4.5 by Direct Book Reviews.

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