I am a big fan of underdogs. I am also a big fan of memoirs. And I enjoy reading different styles of writing. So Same Kind of Different As Me was pretty much a slam dunk.
Denver Moore evolved in his life from sharecropping poverty in the deep South, to homeless city living in Ft. Worth to trusted and beloved family member to one high society Texas couple. That's your underdog. Oh - and he's co-author of this true story without being able to read or write. The man can tell a story - I wish I had an audio version, if one exists, to listen to him spin his life story. His insight is grand through words that cut to the chase.
Then there is the other author. The other side of the coin. Richie Rich Ron Hall. New Rich. Coming also from lessor levels but not with anywhere near the same struggles as Denver - though there are many parallels portrayed. This is where the unique style comes in. One story - two different vantage points - alternating and weaving themselves together gradually.
But the story isn't about Denver and Ron. It is about Ron's wife Debbie, who was moved - or rather, called - to volunteer at a homeless shelter and connected her well dressed, hesitant husband with a withdrawn, scary lookin' mo-fo homeless dude into a friendship that is not "catch and release." That means it is for life, not convenience.
I could have done without the eventual religious vein that hammered itself into your brain the farther and farther the story went. But I do understand that the religion is what drives the lives of those telling the story and living the lives that are shared. So I chose to read it as their true stories rather than passing personal judgment on their beliefs. After all - Ron and Denver - and through them, Debbie's - entire point is to not judge, to not assume, to not fall victim to labels. It is to see beneath one's outward signals and find the heart inside the person. To accept. To love. To rejoice.
That's a theme I can get behind.
I won a used copy of this book via a giveaway from Dee @ Say Anything. All she asked was that it be honestly reviewed. So there you go. Thanks again Dee!