Brandon O’Brien grew up in rural Arkansas/Louisiana, lived in the Chicago suburbs, and now resides in urban Manhattan. Using his experiences, he shows how the places we live shape who we are and inform our perspectives of right and wrong, good and bad. We live in a time of polarization fed by media and politicians, he says. We need to learn to listen, see from others’ perspectives in order to bridge the differences between us, and reject the “one story” stereotypes (all rural people are rednecks, for example). When we look beyond the what appear to be opposing surface issues and challenges, we often find we’re more the same than we are different. As Christians, we need to remember that our primary identity is in Christ, not “our geography, or our politics or our class or status (183).”
We hear a lot about racism, and the themes of this book are similar, only on lines of rural vs. urban instead of colored vs. white. O’Brien’s method is primarily storytelling. He covers a lot of ground and doesn’t dig very deep, but his stories could raise good questions for thought and discussion if one took the time.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Moody) in exchange for my review.