Usually I read a book, and then see the movie. This time, however, I happened to catch the movie first. The movie was a life changer.
The book is eloquent and goes into more detail than the movie did about the frustration the author experienced trying to help a musician who is mentally ill. The mentally ill resist efforts to help them and it can be quite frustrating when they turn down an opportunity for decent housing, preferring instead to stay on the streets. This coupled with the sheer numbers of people requiring basic services like housing, food and medical care and the economic downturn, the problem seems insurmountable.
But with a little love, compassion, understanding, and patience; but above all friendship on an equal footing, the redemptive power of connecting with another human can move mountains and can get a former Julliard student who is living on the streets to meet Yo Yo Ma and be able to safely practice his music.
The author seems to get more out of the relationship and is deeply introspective and honest about the roller coaster relationship.
A must read.