Asher is a father, a preacher, a husband, a brother, struggling with the culture of belief he finds himself in the center or. In the novel, Southernmost, A timely novel, Southernmost deals with the conflict of coming to terms with and standing up for what you believe, even when you know that in doing so you will risk losing everything.
As an Evangelical preacher, Asher has always seen the world through one set of conservatively religious lenses, causing him to reject his gay brother. A catastrophic flood is the catalyst of change for Asher. He finds himself welcoming a gay couple into his church, coming to terms with how wrongly he treated his own brother, and how he can no longer stay in a marriage with a woman whose understanding of God’s love is so different from his own. After separating from his wife, losing a custody battle for his son, and being fired from his church, Asher makes a decision that will change his life and his son’s life forever.
The relationships in this story are honest and believable, never trite or corny. Asher is a man filled with a love and compassion for others that makes living in this world difficult. His love for his son is powerful and causes him to act irrationally at times, but it is a passion that any parent will be able to relate to. I enjoyed this raw and truthful story. I appreciated the realistic portrayal that standing up for what’s right, not what’s popular in your particular culture, can be a burdensome choice that might leave you isolated and alone. But through Asher’s journey, it was made clear to me that although burdensome, standing in your truth can also lead you to find a new loving community through the struggle.
Homophobia, faith, and what truly makes a family are topics that many readers will identify with. Although painful at times, the author does such a good job of covering each topic with delicate diligence, careful to not overwhelm the reader with too much tension or pressure. This story takes you on a ride that you know won’t end well but you can’t help but want to stay on the ride with these characters regardless, desperate to see how they will grow and change along the way.
Southernmost by Silas House
Published by Algonquin Books, June 5, 2018
Genre: General Fiction, LBGT
Where I read: One my Kindle
Stephenie’s Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Thank you to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for a free copy of Southernmost in exchange for an honest and original review. All thoughts are my own.