This is a real narration that gives an account of the lives of two young African-American men that have a similar name: Wes Moore. The author got the inspiration to write the story because of similar starts they both had in Baltimore, Maryland. While one of them was sentenced to life in prison, the author grew to become a Rhodes Scholar and also an author of a best seller. Moore’s main drive to write the story is to have an analysis of how two people who are from such similar backgrounds could end up leading lives that are completely different.
The Complete Plot Overview of the Book
In the beginning, the book gives information on the fact that both of them had grown up without their fathers. The author’s father died when he was only three years old. He succumbed from an allergic reaction described as severe. The other Wes did not even know his father. Their mothers were hard working and believed in steering their families on the right path. However, Mary Moore (the mother of the other Wes) could not finish the degree she was pursuing at Johns Hopkins University. This reduced her chances of making the welfare of her family better. Because of the financial constraints, Mary went through; she had to move her family members to West Baltimore. As a result, Wes’s brother, Tony turned into a drug dealer. Wes watched all that happening. At this point, we learn that Wes is a temperamental person. He was first arrested at middle-school age.
After the death of his father, Wes (the author) and his family moved to the Bronx to reside with their grandparents. The grandparents were strict and lay down rules to make them safe and protected. Meanwhile, Wes was struggling to make it in school. As Wes attended one private school with the name Riverdale Country School, he felt it was hard to fit amid the other students. He began to have irregular school attendance. Though it was a school located in the Bronx, Wes always got the regular reminder that his economic situation was worse than that of the other classmates. To prevent Wes from getting in trouble in the school in the Bronx, the grandparents raised funds and took Wes to Valley Forge Military School. The first night that Wes spent in the school made him feel bad. He made attempts to escape. However, there were strong mentors at the school. With their advice and assistance, Wes successfully graduates from Valley Forge. We went on to have a good future.
As for the other Wes, his adolescent lifestyle caught up with him. Though his family relocated to a neighborhood of Dundee which was considered safer, Wes could not resist the temptation to deal in drugs. His school attendance at school became erratic. As Wes was busy making money while seriously hustling, Alicia (his 2-month girlfriend became pregnant). Wes bombarded his family with lies that he made money from the gigs he had as a DJ. However, Tony knew the true source of the money. Wes never completed his high school education. Eventually, he ended imprisoned for the offense of shooting a man who challenged one of his girlfriends. Wes approached sot the help of Levy how to opt out of the trade in drugs. Levy earlier connected Wes with the Job Corps. In 9 months, Wes was with the Job Corps, he polished his carpentry skills and achieved his highest level of happiness. After leaving Job Corps, Wes learned that he was making very little money from the honest work compared to drag trade. He began dealing in coke again. After that, he got involved in a jewelry store armed robbery. This resulted in the death guard through gunshot. Wes together with Tony is apprehended in Philadelphia. Their sentence is death in prison.
The author returns to Baltimore to take up his chance at Johns Hopkins University to complete his undergraduate degree. Additionally, he is offered an internship by Mayor Schmoke of the high probability of Wes becoming a Scholar in Rhodes. Wes had a nice experience in South Africa getting enlightened on the issues of apartheid. Even though he did not have a privileged upbringing in the Bronx, the state of poverty for those in South Africa cannot get anywhere close to his experience. The host family insisted to him the need to focus on the results of the process as opposed to the experience itself. After spending time in South Africa, Wes completed his Master’s degree in Oxford. He worked together Condoleezza Rice in the Department of Homeland Security and then had a stint at Wall Street. After that, Wes worked for the U.S. Army while in Afghanistan. That took several months. That is the synopsis of the story.