Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Same Kind of Different As Me review

This was a random find in the library, though I'd been meaning to read it for a while based on the cool title alone. I was expecting a clever story carefully following the title's theme. It turned out that it wasn't the book I thought it would be -- it was better.

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore (with Lynn Vincent) is a story so good you'd think it's fiction, but it's not. It actually happened that a homeless guy would be best friends with a millionaire art dealer. And the art dealer's wife saw it in a dream. And had a dream bigger than that -- that they would change the city and reach out to the homeless.

Before that, it's about a struggling marriage that God turned around. It's about a sharecropper who stumbled though life until finding peace. We see the broken world that made them both, and then we see how they changed it.

In the whole story, God shines through. He's not plastered on top, like some Christian books try to do. You can see that the events were the work of His hands.

Writing-wise, it's engaging throughout. A strong dialect is used for Denver's point of view, but it doesn't detract from the story. Especially towards the beginning, I was even more eager to read his chapters than Ron's, maybe because his story was so foreign to me.

In retrospect, the only thing I would criticize is the title. The phrase is dropped toward the end of the book, but I didn't see a thematic reason why it would be picked up and put on the cover. The people in the story are very different from each other, but they still connected. Manipulating the words into the title seemed kind of forced. In any case, it got me to pick up the book, so I'll stop complaining.

It's inspiring, engaging, and beautiful. I heartily recommend it to everyone.

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