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Southernmost
by Silas House

Published: 2018-06-05
Hardcover : 352 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
“A novel for our time, a courageous and necessary book.” —Jennifer Haigh, author of Heat and Light

In this stunning novel about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief and the infinite ways to love.

In the aftermath of a flood ...
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Introduction

“A novel for our time, a courageous and necessary book.” —Jennifer Haigh, author of Heat and Light

In this stunning novel about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief and the infinite ways to love.

In the aftermath of a flood that washes away much of a small Tennessee town, evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter to two gay men. In doing so, he starts to see his life anew—and risks losing everything: his wife, locked into her religious prejudices; his congregation, which shuns Asher after he delivers a passionate sermon in defense of tolerance; and his young son, Justin, caught in the middle of what turns into a bitter custody battle.

With no way out but ahead, Asher takes Justin and flees to Key West, where he hopes to find his brother, Luke, whom he’d turned against years ago after Luke came out. And it is there, at the southernmost point of the country, that Asher and Justin discover a new way of thinking about the world, and a new way of understanding love.

Southernmost is a tender and affecting book, a meditation on love and its consequences.

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A wonderful book about acceptance of all that is different.
by thewanderingjew (see profile) 09/24/19
Southernmost, Silas House author; Charlie Thurston, narrator Asher Sharp is a preacher in Tennessee. After a terrible flood, his son Justin runs away to find their dog Roscoe. When he returns, he brings home two gay men, men who have helped save some of Asher’s own parishioners from the raging, rising waters. This simple gesture of kindness horrifies his wife, Lydia. She considers the men an abomination and while she will feed them, she does not want them to attend Asher’s church or to be around Justin. However, Asher has an epiphany, at this time, because of the tragic flood. In the past, his mother had rejected his own gay brother. Because of his religious beliefs and his wife’s insistence., he did the same. Now he is agonizing about that decision and is tormented by it. Guilt and shame fill him. He wants to welcome the gay men. He and Lydia argue about it, and she is relentless. She begs him to see it her way. She won’t bring those men into her son’s life or her church. Justin is small for his nine years. He is sensitive, and Lydia believes he feels too much. She thinks it isn’t right for boys to be so sensitive. She has secretly been taking him to a psychiatrist. When Asher discovers this, he is furious. He does not want his son treated for caring too much or being emotional and thoughtful. Justin is wiser than his years and seems older. He does not want him given drugs to change him. When Asher supports bringing the gay men into the church, he is voted out and replaced as Pastor. After he is terminated, Asher addresses the parishioners and reprimands them for rejecting the stranger.. Someone films hIs outburst and the video goes viral on utube. It makes him look like not only has he lost his way, but he has also had an emotional breakdown. Asher leaves Lydia and moves into a trailer. Lydia is very hurt and angry. When she begins to restrict Asher’s visits with Justin, he panics. His love for his son is overwhelming, and he won’t consider losing him. When Lydia demands supervised visits, he suffers through them, but when she sues for full custody and wins, Asher reaches the end of his rope. He cannot imagine seeing his son so infrequently, even without supervision. He decides to kidnap him. Asher runs to Key West in search of his brother Luke. He wants forgiveness for his past behavior toward him and believes he and Justin will be safe there. This is the story of a broken man trying to knit himself together again. It is a story about conversion therapy for gay men, without directly saying it. It is a story that confronts homophobia head-on with honesty and insight. It is a story about a little child caught in the middle because he shows signs of softness, and although it is never said directly, one gets the feeling his mom, Lydia, believes he has gay tendencies which must be cleansed from him. This is a story about learning to accept difference. It is filled with irony. It is this child, Justin, who will embody the hope that will lead them out of the wilderness. He believes in “the everything”!

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by thewanderingjew (see profile) 09/24/19

 
  "Southernmost"by nanovsky (see profile) 08/31/19

A thought-provoking read that will lead to some excellent discussions on religion, homosexuality and our changing views in today's world

 
by Ljwagoner (see profile) 01/26/19

4.5??. This is a powerful story about the love between father & son, how our faith & belief can change & expand and about the hard choices we make because of love. Wonderfully written.

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