Saturday, October 24, 2009

Review - What Difference do it Make?

After reading "Same Kind of Different as Me," a powerful story of faith and friendship by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, I was excited to get a review copy of the sequel "What Difference Do It Make?: Stories of Hope and Healing." Sometimes an original can be so good that it makes it hard for the sequel to match up to expectations. "What Difference Do It Make" falls prey to this danger.

This book doesn't so much continue the original story as much as it fills in some more details, answers some questions, and shares a number of real-life stories of people impacted powerfully by Same Kind of Different as Me. That's a key cause of a significant problem with this book - it comes across as a promo book, trying to leverage the popularity of the first book. (I do not think that this was the intent of the authors! Nevertheless the book at times does read this way.)  The second aspect of the book that was awkward was that the attention paid to the relationship between Ron Hall and his father. It was a dysfunctional relationship that failed to inspire, a few tender moments notwithstanding.

The book has its strong points. It's a book about racial reconciliation, unlikely friendship, community outreach and caring for the homeless, faith and compassion. The book contains some powerful nuggets of wisdom from Denver, reflecting on his personal experience with homelessness. If you loved Same Kind of Different, you would probably enjoy this book to some degree. If you've not read that one, go read it!

"What Difference Do It Make?" by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent is available at Amazon and other book retailers.

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