BY HIS OWN BLOOD is an insightful and inspiring book in which its author, John Montandon, effectively paints a portrait of a time and place that most of us have never experienced. It reminds me somewhat of Laura Ingalls Wilder's accounts of her family's struggles and triumphs in the "Little House on the Prairie" series of books and television shows. His detailed accounts of his daily experiences, trials, and accomplishments growing up in a windy, warm west Texas town carve out a vivid image of his youth and family dynamics. The book openly and honestly addresses what many may have been considered taboo topics in a conservative small town such as AIDS, homosexuality, suicide, and religious and cultural bias. The first part of the book effectively sets the stage for the tragic, heartbreaking, and unexpected challenges to come. In the end, this books serves as a tribute and a testament to the love between father and son, graciousness despite grief, and ultimately, proof that blood is always thicker than betrayal!