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Posted February 23, 2011
Homeless Like Me - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
"Whatever. So since it's not warm now, where are you sleeping?" "Here at the mission. Are you going to spend the night with us?" Brian's mouth fell open. "Me?" "Dude, if you're going to write a book about being homeless, you can't just put on the garb and expect the insight to magically appear in your head. You have to live the life for a while. This has to be an emotional experience so you can get the feeling into the book, not just the ideas." "But I ." "Do you want to write a best seller, or do you want to dink around wasting your time and mine?" "Well, of course I want to come up with a best seller, but I wasn't planning to go into the bowels of Hell to do it." "Dude, you don't know what Hell is. Being homeless is only a purgatory, or maybe you could call it a near Hell experience." Brian surveyed the occupants of the room. It was bad enough for him to share eating quarters with some of these people. The thought of sleeping in the same room with them made his stomach churn. Visions of having his scalp taken while he slumbered were impossible to shake off. He bit down on his lower lip. "Too much for you, ain't it? I should have known you didn't have what it takes when I first ran into you."
Brian Anderson is writing his first book. He has decided to make it fiction about how it feels to be homeless and the best place to do his research is at the local shelter. So he dons his "bum" clothes, parks his car several blocks away and walks in. At least that was what he had planned but his plans are about to change when he has a knife stuck under his neck by shelter resident Zeke. It takes a little talking but he finally convinces Zeke that he is an ok guy and plans no harm to him or any of the other shelter people. Zeke, knowing what he does about living a life on the streets decides to become Brian's body guard and even moves in with Brian to help him with his book. But Zeke isn't the only homeless person Brian ends up taking in, even though in reality he is about to become one of them himself.
As Brian meets the "shelter people," gets to know them and hears their stories he finds himself getting even more excited about his book. When he meets Miss Angel, a volunteer who helps serve meals, he decides she has the perfect name because she is truly an angel and the woman of his dreams. But they have a three letter bridge named God between them. Miss Angel is a Christian and Brian isn't. Now he has to find a way to bring her across the bridge to his side before she tries to drag him across to hers.
Homeless Like Me is a wonderful book of trust, friendship and love which brings people across the bridge into the land of God. It has made me have second thoughts about some of the feelings I've had all my life regarding people and their personal ways of life. It reminds us that through God, anything can happen and happen for the best.
Sword of the Spirit Publishing
Posted November 29, 2009
In his efforts to write the Great American Novel, Brian comes up with an ingenious idea: in order to depict the plights of homeless people struggling against poverty, he decides to masquerade as a homeless man. That way, his story will not only be convincing, it will also be based on the genuine, authentic experience of being homeless. As his journey unfolds, though, something quite unexpected happens to Brian: he falls for Angel, a vision of pure loveliness with a heart as big as the Grand Canyon. The only problem: Angel is an impassioned Christian soldier determined not to marry until God delivers her husband to her - whereas Brian has no use for religion at all. As his literary efforts evolve in an effort to win Angel's heart, Brian is little prepared for the ways in which he himself will actually be changed when all is said and done...
Homeless Like Me courageously exposes the reader to one of the more often ignored aspects of the human experience. Deriving its name from a play on the title of the familiar work Black Like Me, author Donald James Parker's insightful tale chronicles a similar journey through the good, bad, and ugly experiences of a particular subset of the greater population. Without falling into hyperbole or exaggeration, Homeless Like Me provides the reader with invaluable insight into how devastating homelessness can be - as well as just how easily it can happen to anyone, regardless of the stability of your current situation. Despite the heaviness of the subject, though, Parker's trademark humor adds just the right touch of levity, providing an effective counterbalance to what could be a decidedly difficult subject to explore.
A compelling read from beginning to end, Homeless Like Me is recommended reading for anyone unfamiliar with the specific trials and tribulations that accompany life as a homeless person. Sure to inspire an increased appreciation for the plights of people from all walks of life.