Breakfast at Sally's

Breakfast at Sally's

One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

eBook - 2008
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One day, Richard LeMieux had a happy marriage, a palatial home, and took $40,000 Greek vacations. 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.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.
Publisher: New York : Skyhorse Pub., c2008.
ISBN: 9781602392939
Characteristics: 1 online resource : ill.


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Sep 16, 2018

This book is Interesting for its characterizations of homeless people and descriptions of the difficulties they face. Although offered as a memoir, a real-life account of one man’s homeless odyssey, it’s shallow and contrived and reads more like a novice’s attempt at fiction. His one-dimensional characters are more set pieces than fully developed/reported personalities. We hear the book’s theme from C’s tirade in the Denny’s restaurant: “The homeless are human beings. Okay, so they are people with problems—some greater than others. But there is no problems that can’t be overcome with love, patience, and kindness. Given help and a sense of direction, most of them will help themselves and even help others.” [p. 248] It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s hard to buy it from this source. LeMieux himself could’ve done a lot more to help both himself and others than we see him do in this book. Having said that, you can get a pretty good view of the contemporary homeless person’s world from this book.

Sep 17, 2016

The book is an honest portrayal of his own life, but I found some passages really difficult to read given the way he distinguishes himself from other homeless folks, emphasizing that he was not SUPPOSED to be homeless. he makes a distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor that I think is really harmful. The message that he is trying to get across is how anyone could become homeless and how hard it is. Unfortunately, he brought is rich, able-bodied, white man perspective to being homeless and so sees himself as fundamentally different (and better) from the alcoholics, mentally ill, queer folx, POC and poor people who do not deserve the treatment they receive on the streets either.

The book is not a bad introduction to the topic for someone coming from a perspective like his. I just hope nobody stops their reading here.

Jul 04, 2011

The book is a worth-while read because it's an honest portrayal of homelessness in Bremerton, Wa. The Sally of the title refers to the Salvation Army which provides free breakfasts to the homeless in that area.
However, I was disappointed that the author chose only to write about his life as a homeless person and not so much about what caused him to be in that situation in his fifties.
He alludes to a business failure but doesn't explain what happened, nor does he do much more than touch upon his divorce and alienation from his grown children. The jacket cover says he was rich and happily married but the book really doesn't show the deterioration into homelessness. I would've liked to have understood it. He sometimes seemed to indicate that his business failure was the cause of his homelessness and other times that it was his depression but again, I would've liked to have had more details so I could understand him better. I was never clear about why he couldn't take some other job. Compared to many around him, he seemed to function pretty well.
I was surprised by how often religion came up. While it was true that various faith communities offered him a great deal of assistance, nonetheless I wasn't expecting a testimonial about how he came to accept God in his life.


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