Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

Breakfast at Sally's: One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

4.3 29
by Richard LeMieux, Michael Gordon
     
 

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One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. The next, he was living out of a van with only his dog, Willow, for company. This astonishingly frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster. Penniless, a failed suicide, estranged from his family, and living "the vehicular

Overview

One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. The next, he was living out of a van with only his dog, Willow, for company. This astonishingly frank memoir tells the story of one man's resilience in the face of economic disaster. Penniless, a failed suicide, estranged from his family, and living "the vehicular lifestyle" in Washington state, LeMieux chronicles his journey from the Salvation Army kitchens to his days with "C"—a philosopher in a homeless man's clothing—to his run-ins with Pastor Bob and other characters he meets on the streets. Along the way, he finds time to haunt public libraries and discover his desire to write.

LeMieux's quiet determination and his almost pious willingness to live with his situation are only a part of this politically and socially charged memoir. The real story of an all-too-common American condition, this is a heartfelt and stirring read.

Editorial Reviews

Christian Science Monitor
“For those who yearn to believe in the basic decency of most human beings, this book provides abundant evidence.”
Danny Westneat - Seattle Times
““It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think.””
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“"This inspiring,
eye-opening memoir is timely amid grim and grimmer economic news."”
The Olympian
“"LeMieux shatters the stereotypes any of us might have about the homeless . . .This simply-told memoir is easily a three-hanky read, but after you wipe away your tears, you'll be moved to do something — anything — to reach out to those in need."”
Harry Hurt III - New York Times
“The book reads like a novel. . . but it has the ring of truth, and an uplifting message that endures.
Mr. LeMieux's account of his homelessness is convincing . . . an authoritative advocate for the millions of Americans who are homeless or living in poverty.”
Terri Schlichenmeyer - The Daily Sound
“Graceful and dignified,
humble and un-self-conscious, gentle and cautious. . . an absolutely-can't-miss book everyone should read.”
Seattle Times
“It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think.”— Danny Westneat
Seattle Times - Danny Westneat
“"It’s easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling on corners. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they’ve always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think."”
From the Publisher

"Reads like a novel. . . . But it has the ring of truth, and an uplifting message that endures."—New York Times

“It's wonderful what Richard’s doing. His book was given to me by a mutual friend. . . . He really puts a face on the homeless. That it could be any one of us. There’s a stereotype of homeless people, and people are often afraid of the homeless, because they put on a front—a mask—and act defensive and tough, when they’re really not. All they want is to be warm and safe, just like everybody else.” —Trudi Inslee, First Lady of Washington State

"For those who yearn to believe in the basic decency of most human beings, this book provides abundant evidence." —Christian Science Monitor

"Once I started this book I could not put it down."—Captain Howard Bennett, Salvation Army

"Readable and thoroughly life-affirming."—Kirkus Reviews

"It's easy to look from afar onto the world LeMieux writes about. People panhandling. Living in cars. Most of us probably figure they've always been down. But how far did they fall? Maybe farther than we think."—Seattle Times

"Breakfast at Sally's refutes stereotypes about the homeless. Anyone reading it will no doubt become more compassionate and empathetic towards homeless people."—Michael Stoops, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless

"An important book. A vivid, honest peek into a world we rarely see."—Nan Roman, President and CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness

"'Sally's' refers to the Salvation Army soup kitchen, a friendly way station for LeMieux and his ever-present companion, 'Willow the Wonder Dog.'"—Charlotte Observer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781628732054
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
10/17/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
130,686
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author


Richard LeMieux is a writer and ex-businessman who was once happily married and the owner of several cars and three boats. Evicted from his luxury home after his business failed, and living with his dog, Willow, in a beat-up old van, LeMieux wrote Breakfast at Sally’s on a secondhand typewriter. He is now a public speaker, talking about his experiences as a homeless person. He and Willow live in Bremerton, Washington.

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Breakfast at Sally's 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Breakfast at Sally’s is a very addictive read. It starts a bit slow, but a few pages in you are hooked. Losing everything (financially and personal relationships) is a tough pill to swallow. Richard LeMieux has written a captivating book about going from being on top of the world to being homeless. It is very interesting and well written.
believer07 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!This book is the supremely written story of the author and his life on the streets. Richard opens your eyes to the stories of how and why people are or become homeless and the everyday simple struggles that they face. This story opens your eyes to the true help that is needed for people that don't have homes to go "home" to and the society of people on the "streets". Richard, I thank you, where ever you are for sharing this story of yours and the people of Bremerton,WA with the world. God bless you and those that don't have a roof over their heads tonight! P.S.- I believe "C" is a true angel!!!!!!
EllenDS More than 1 year ago
So well written and almost impossible to put down. I won't look at a homeless person in the same way again. Ellen
Twink More than 1 year ago
Richard LeMieux had it all. He had been a successful sportswriter and owned a small publishing company. He had raised three children and travelled extensively with his partner of seventeen years. He lived the 'good life', eating out, spending lots on material goods. Until the bottom fell out - his business failed, his partner left and his adult children and former friends wanted nothing more to do with him. On Christmas Day 2002, despondent and suffering from severe depression, LeMieux attempted suicide. Thankfully he was unsuccessful.

For the next year and a half, he lives with his faithful companion Willow (the Wonder Dog) in his van. Taking many of his meals at the Salvation Army, (hence the title) we meet many of the other homeless and working poor that populate the city of Bremerton, Washington.

Drawing on his writing background and a donated typewriter, LeMieux begins to write a book about his journey. Families living in church parking lots in their cars, camps of young people living peacefully on the outskirts of town, the mentally ill, the addicted. But it is the caring and compassion shown by these downtrodden to each other that strikes such a chord with me. In particular a man only identified as C, who is so responsive to the needs of those in his neighbourhood. There are many, many other stories within this book.

With the economy the way it is, I am sure there will be many more people forced into situations that they would never have forseen or imagined. I am always inspired by memoirs such as Breakfast at Sally's. Not just by the authors, but those who choose to make a difference.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please, by all means, get a hold of this book and read it. It affirms the saying, "The more you give, the more you receive." The repayment may not be monetary or material, but Richard is living proof that kindness from and to others will see one through tough times. Borrow it, buy it, lend it: You've got to get the word out about this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I read this, but if you want a glimpse into homelessness (and we all could stand a glimpse), this book is incredible. You can't be lazy and homeless. It's a lot of work.
Taniacy More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I can honestly say that it reminded me that the homeless are people too, and it doesn't hurt to smile.
mehp More than 1 year ago
I read this book as one of my book club selections. I truly enjoyed this book. It was well written and made me think about the human suffering in this country with homelessness. Unfortunately there are not enough "safety nets" for people who find themselves homeless as a result of losing a job, sickness in the family, their own sickness, etc. I believe this country needs to do more to assist individuals and families who find themselves homeless. Everyone deserves a warm dry place to sleep at night, a place to call their own. No man, woman or child should ever go to "bed" at night without having eaten. This was a great first book by Richard LeMieux, and I look forward to reading his next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was so well written and very interesting to read. Richard's words were so honest and drew me in. I would highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Back in sophomore year in high school, my english teacher read us this book. this book is soo inspiration and i recommend it to anyone. it really makes you look at homeless people in a different light. bad things really do happen to good people. it's an easy read, it's not difficult. after our teacher finished reading this story, it made me want to go out and try to help some of the local homeless. I'm from the kitsap area so knowning that the author was from my area made me want to help out even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Breakfast at Sally's is at the same time depressing and inspiring. It opens your eyes to the sometimes hidden or ignored problem of homelessness in your hometown. Richard LeMieux speaks from the heart as a man more than "down on his luck" who lives for a length of time in his van with his dog, Willow. While you feel sorry for his plight, you begin to see that this journey for him is a revelation. His homeless friends begin to take their place in his life as a true "family." Perhaps all that he held dear in his previous life was not as dear as that which he finds when he has nothing. This book forces you to see that element of our society which you'd rather not see or think about. But it also inspires you to want to help these people you once thought we unworthy of your time/resources. This book is an authentic portrayal of a man who loses his material possessions, his family, and for a while, his sense of self worth. But through his journey he comes to see what his mission in life must be. Our book club read this book and invited Richard to speak at our meeting. He is soft spoken and truly authentic. We were inspired after reading his book and talking with him to donate over $700 to the local (Bremerton) Salvation Army in his name. I highly recommend this book; an easy and enjoyable and inspiring read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably the most memorable book that I've read in a long while. It's touching, enlightening, and gives you a peek into what it is like to be homeless in America. This book will make you feel lucky for what you have and make you want to give to those less fortunate. An excellent job by the author - I can't wait to read his next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Living in southeast Michigan I've heard pleas from many members of our society in our troubled economy. This book brought the issue even closer into my heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have lived in the Kitsap area all my life and this book really touched my heart. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop telling people about it. Thank you Mr. LeMieux for sharing your story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just log off and read it. You may be moved to compose your own review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
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