Monday, September 6, 2010

Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Same Kind of Different as Me is a first person account of the true story of a friendship that formed between Denver Moore, a poor sharecropper who grew up as a modern-day slave and eventually became a hardened and angry homeless man;  Ron Hall, a wealthy and privileged international art dealer;  and Ron's wife Deborah who, largely as the result of a divine vision, created the homeless shelter that eventually brought them together.  The story is told from two voices, alternating between both Denver and Ron's perspectives.

This was a compelling story and a quick read, but I felt a vague sense of disappointment when I'd finished it.  I think I ultimately didn't like it as much as I wanted to like it.

Denver's point of view had my interest right from the start.  Despite his history (or perhaps because of it), he immediately drew me in and tugged at my heart.  I couldn't help but root for him, and I truly enjoyed watching his transformation as he grew from the beginning of the story to the end.  Ron underwent his own transformation, to be sure, but I had a hard time emotionally connecting to his side of the story.  He held many prejudices throughout the book, and while he eventually let go of them as he forged a friendship with Denver, many of his epiphanies felt like they just came a little later than they should have.  He certainly made great strides, but I wanted him to get there faster.

Regardless, this was a good book, and an interesting story.  It was a bit heavy-handed with the religious tone, which might be off-putting if you're sensitive to feeling like you're being "preached" at.  The message was a solid one though, and it is worth a read, if for no other reason than to hear Denver's inspirational triumph over adversity.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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