Southernmost

Silas House. Algonquin, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-61620-625-3
House (Eli the Good) tackles themes of forced change and faith succumbing to fear in this suspenseful narrative about a father and son navigating personal and spiritual upheaval. After years of work and worship in a rural Tennessee evangelical congregation, pastor Asher Sharp begins to doubt his faith when he alone offers help to a local gay couple in the wake of a devastating flood. His new tolerance is met with hostility and confusion by his congregants and family members, leading to a crisis in his marriage and a sudden separation from his only son, Justin, a quiet, thoughtful nine-year-old. Unwilling to let Justin live with his mother, Asher’s increasing panic leads him to abscond with his son to Key West in search of his estranged brother, Luke. As father and son search for Luke, they find sun, solace, and new friends. The novel’s early sections are burdened by clichéd interactions between Asher and his wife and congregation; some depictions of Asher’s crisis and Tennessee’s faithful are cartoonish, and Justin’s maturity and wisdom stretch the limits of plausibility. But after Asher and Justin’s journey takes center stage, House brings Key West to life. The Sharps’ blossoming affection for the town and its residents contrasts poignantly with their tense, tenuous circumstances. Although it starts slowly, the story leads to a seemingly inevitable yet suspenseful climax that will leave readers floored. House’s fine moral drama pleasingly mixes spiritual reflection and a story of personal healing with brilliant descriptions of summer days in languid Key West. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-61620-829-5
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-5256-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-184-9
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-61620-936-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-987145-24-3
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