I first heard about this book when I saw a preview for the movie. Not sure how I missed it the first time around, but I’m so glad I got to read this story of how an unlikely friendship changed not only the people in it but the community around them.
Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent is a book I won’t soon forget. It challenges me to reconsider what I think I know about homelessness and those who sleep on the streets. Denver’s life experiences working on sharecropping plantations in Louisiana is a heartbreaking reality I wish was fiction. And Ron’s rise to success as an international art dealer and his recovery from a personal fall in his marriage is inspiring.
I loved the back-and-forth perspectives of this story, how Denver’s and Ron’s voices were unique and first-person. I appreciated the honesty both of them revealed through their stories about failures and feelings. This was not a sugar-coated, all-is-happy tale. I had goosebumps and tears throughout, and reading the book makes me all the more eager to see the movie.
Maybe my favorite part of the whole book is how the relationship between Denver and Ron is mutual. This is not a story of how Ron’s friendship with Denver saved Denver. The two men saved each other and offered each other wisdom and comfort and challenge in times of need. And even though her name isn’t on the cover, the story is also about Ron’s wife Debbie and how her sparkling attitude opened the way for this relationship in the first place.
Reading this book makes me want to take more seriously the idea that friendship with people I might not think of as friends can change things. But it’s a consistent relationship that matters. Denver’s question about catch-and-release fishing in relation to friendship was a hard check in my life. In Denver’s words:
If you is fishin for a friend you just gon catch and release, then I ain’t got no desire to be your friend. But if you is lookin for a real friend, then I’ll be one. Forever.”
Don’t let this book or movie pass you by. (And in this movie edition of the book, there are some bonus pages about how the book came to be a movie. That itself is a story!)
I received a copy of the book from the publisher through the Booklook Bloggers Program. Review reflects my personal opinion.