Sunday, April 17, 2011

Same Kind of Different as Me - Book Review

"It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana... and an East Texas honky-tonk... and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a
Hollywood hacienda... an upscale New York Gallery... a downtown dumpster... a Texas ranch.
Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, it also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love."

"A modern day slave, an international art dealer, and the unlikely woman who bound them together."

This book was introduced to me by my pastor's wife. I was a bit hesitant to read it because I enjoy reading books that are a bit more theological. True stories or biographies don't really sit high in my favorite genres to read, but I am so grateful that I read it anyway. I read this book in less than a week!

In the book we get to know Denver Moore and Ron Hall and Miss Debbie. Denver is a man who grew up abused by what was then called share-cropping. A business where the down and out are taken advantage of by rich, usually white, men. After a life of atrocious living conditions and grueling hard work, Denver hitches a train ride to Ft. Worth where he lives a life of a homeless man, scratching his way through life in order to stay alive. Ron Hall on the other hand, grows up working hard and later ends up art dealing. He finds that he has a talent for the trade and invests a whole lot of money and time living the American dream. His wife Debbie finds her true calling to help the down and out, the homeless, the broken and the purposely forgotten. Through her and her trials, Denver and Ron become more than just friends, they become brothers. Jesus is their commonality and they cling to Him through the good times and the bad. 

Throughout the book there is sprinkled Denver's country wisdom and Biblical insights. There is love, lots of pain and glorious victory in these pages and it really inspired me to love unconditionally, just like Jesus loves me despite my shortcomings.    

The book is written in a two person account setting. Denver speaks about his life, and Ron speaks on his. We get insight and perspectives from both of them. When Denver speaks the words are written phonetically with his "accent". This draws you closer into the book and you can almost hear Denver speaking to you through these words.

Warning: The book is a tear jerker and does give you a glimpse of the brutality of racism. There is a graphic scene of what some white men did to Denver. There are several times that  Denver uses the word "nigger" both as a horrible word used towards him and as part of his "vernacular". Ron uses the word, but not as him saying it, but more of his hearing of it. There are several drug references, nothing explicit though. A woman is also burned to death by a horrible accident and there is one reference to witchcraft or voodoo.

Rating: I give the book 5 out of 5 stars. There are so many wonderful quotes Denver uses and his insight and sensitivity to the work of Holy Spirit is a breath of fresh air. I honestly hope they make a movie out of this book. 

God tends to be found in unexpected places!

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