Nan's Reviews > Same Kind of Different as Me

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
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May 24, 2012

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Read on May 14, 2012

Our book club chose this, and I delayed reading it till the last minute because I always feel manipulated--and bored--by "heartwarming" racial stories. But this was better than I expected, and different. Ron Hall is the white, wealthy Texan art trader whose wife is divinely inspired to get them both involved in a homeless shelter in downtown Ft. Worth. Denver Moore is a black former sharecropper in his sixties who never learned to read or write, and lives on the street. They all meet, Denver lets them get close to him, they become friends, and then (SPOILER) the wife gets cancer. Because she's been so helpful to the mission, everyone starts praying like mad, but God has His own agenda. I don't mean to sound flip--much of this book is very touching, and if you don't tear up at the chapters surrounding Deborah's illness, you're tougher than me. As a true story, it's interesting and surprisingly matter-of-fact, not preachy. And it certainly made me feel like a selfish bum for not doing as much as the Halls. Yet I wonder how relevant, as a life lesson, this book is to those of us without the leisure, money, or nerve to spend 20+ hours/week helping the truly down & out. So far as I could tell, the shelter didn't teach its attendees any skills that would help them lift themselves out of their rut. Which is the only thing that offers lasting, systemic change. But I was one of the few with any criticisms. The rest of the book club loved it.
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