What Difference Do It Make?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thomas Nelson contacted me in late January to see if I would be interested in reviewing What Difference Do It Make?, the sequel to Same Kind of Different as Me.  I read Same Kind of Different as Me, the story of a homeless man and his friendship with a rich art dealer, in just two days.  The story captivated me and convicted me on how I deal with others. So I was excited to receive the sequel...

What Difference Do It Make? is an update on Ron Hall (the rich art dealer) and Denver Moore (the former homeless man) and what they have been doing since the last book (Same Kind of Different as Me).  I appreciated how the book was set up...there are chapters where Ron and Denver go back and forth with updates (included in these updates are portions of Same Kind of Different as Me in italics to remind the reader of what happened in the first book).  Since I recently read Same Kind of Different I skipped the few italicized parts.  There are also chapters on how people who read the first book were influenced by the story and how they then went out to help others in need.  One of them in particular was real inspiring of a woman saying a man's life (I won't go into detail...don't want to spoil it for you).

There were many parts of the book that were inspiring especially the parts where Denver gives spiritual insight like...

"I think part a' this problem is that too many folks ain't ready to face up to the fact that to love the unlovable, they got to face the people they fear.  They is afraid to get out of their regular livin' space 'cause they afraid it might be suicide, right? 'Cause you wouldn't be scared a' nobody if you didn't feel like they was gon' do you wrong."

What a true statement!  Doesn't the Bible say that "perfect love casts out fear"?  When we are fearful of others we can't totally love them.

While I enjoyed the book, I have to say that there were parts of it that disturbed me.  First of all, there is use of rough language in the book. While the "milder" cuss words are used and are there to show where people are coming from, I found it shocking that they were in the book.  Same Kind of Different didn't have this type of language.  Also, the storyline about Ron's relationship with his father bothered me.  While I appreciated some of the insight Ron had about his alcoholic father's abusive behavior and their relationship, I found it odd that Ron would serve him Jack Daniels.  On the up side however, I think that Ron was trying to get the point across that he was meeting his dad on a level that his dad understood.  However, it still disturbs me that he would contribute to his alcoholism.

I have to say that I enjoyed Same Kind of Different as Me more than the sequel.  There were some great moments, insights, and inspiration in What Difference Do It Make?, if you are willing to look past some of the language and tough subjects presented in the book.

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