Breakfast at Sally's

Breakfast at Sally's

One Homeless Man's Inspirational Journey

Book - 2008
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Features a new foreword by the author and a heartfelt endorsement of the book and its mission by Washington State's First Lady, Trudi Inslee!

Once a happily married businessman, avid golfer, and the proud owner of several luxury cars and three boats, conservative-minded Richard LeMieux saw his fortune change almost overnight. In this astonishingly heartfelt memoir, he describes his descent into homelessness and his struggle to survive personal and economic disaster. Evicted from his home in 2002 and living with his dog, Willow, in a beat-up old van, LeMieux finds himself penniless and estranged from his family and friends. He dines at the Salvation Army (aka Sally's), attempts suicide, and is treated at a mental hospital where he is diagnosed with depression.

Writing on a secondhand manual typewriter, first at a picnic table in a public park, and then wherever he can, LeMieux describes his odyssey and the quirky, diverse, and endearing cast of characters found among the homeless people of Bremerton, Washington, and, by extension, everywhere else. Breakfast at Sally's is a rare inside-look at how the other America lives, and how one man, beaten down and alone, was able to reconnect, find good people, and ultimately, with their help, to persevere.
Published: New York : Skyhorse Pub., c2008.
ISBN: 9781602392939
1602392935
Branch Call Number: 305.569 LEM
Characteristics: 433 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.

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krajewsk1
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.

f
floy
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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