The Other Wes Moore Short Summary
The book has a nonfictional story composed by Wes Moore. It documents two men going by the same name who had contrasting life stories.
A Good Plot Synopsis
The author introduces the novel by introducing the two main characters, both born in Baltimore but end up living very different lives. One of them becomes very successful while the other spends the remainder of his life in prison. This book examines how our destiny can easily be influenced by the choices we make. Moore lived to earn a Rhodes scholarship at John Hopkins University. However, Wes was incarcerated along with his elder brother for being involved in a robbery that resulted in the murder of a police officer.
Two years after discovering about Wes, the author became obsessed with the coincidence. He even quotes an excerpt from Brothers and Keepers by John Weidman, whereby he felt a sense of connection to his brother upon discovering that he is a wanted man. Moore now finds it peculiar that he is experiencing the same feeling despite never meeting Wes. He decides to write him a letter in prison with little hope that he might reply. Surprisingly, the other Wes replies to his letter with a warm greeting and answers to his queries.
After that, the two begin to frequently write each other letters until Moore starts visiting Wes at the jail. Moore is further surprised by the many coincidences between their situations. He now believes that their discussions tell more about their generation of young men. While still aware of Wes’s heinous crime, he feels that their stories can enlighten people on how key decisions can shape an individual’s life. Moore then decides to delve deeper by conducting more interviews with him as well as friends, family, police, drug dealers, and lawyers.
The book is structured into three sections corresponding to the three main phases in the boys’ development. Every section starts with a small excerpt of Moore and Wes’ prison conversations. At the end of the book, the author avails over 200 resources that young people can utilize to create a positive impact on their lives. What’s more, more emphasizes that the book should not be viewed as a denial of the injustice done on the late officer and his family, but as a testimony to those in difficult situations. They have the power to change their circumstances for better or for worse just by a simple decision.