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Posted June 19, 2012
Are you in the mood for something a little different without going down the road of paranormal or fantasy? This book may just fit the bill. It is actually difficult to discern what genre this book falls into. It definitely has inspirational elements and some family elements, but beyond that, I am just not sure. How do you classify a book about someone dying?
There were many elements that I really enjoyed in the book. I loved the inspirational elements in the story. I found Vernon the most interesting character in this aspect. Some of his antics were a little over the top, but it was good to see where he ended up in the end. It seems that God continues to remind that God will guide me through every hardship and trial, and it is amazing to find this sentiment in what would be considered a secular book.
The profanity in the language was quite mild, and the sex was minimal. I was grateful for both although I think both were not really necessary. But that is just my opinion. This is honestly a minor issue for me.
I have to admit that at times I found this book rather boring. I did not find myself truly connecting with any of the characters. And, although minor, the names Jody and Pearl seemed so feminine that I often had to remind myself that these were men not women! I would have loved to have seen more women in the book, but that is just a personal preference.
My largest complaint with the book was the style in which it is written. I struggled to keep the story straight in many instances. The author jumped around a lot between characters and present/past/future. Unfortunately, sometimes the complete story of a character is not told in its entirety. And the book ended so abruptly. I actually thought I may have misread the last couple pages (I had not).
In conclusion, I wish I could say that I love this book whole-heartedly, but my review remains mixed. I will say that the messages of the book ring clear, and that alone is worth the read.
I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted March 9, 2012
I’m usually pretty good with words, but I’m not sure I can do justice to this book. I was expecting a lot just from reading the excerpt and Brian’s own words about the book, but this was beyond what I anticipated. The story of fathers and sons, brothers and cousins, had me laughing out loud one minute and bawling like a baby the next. Like life, it was up and down.
Vernon Davidson is watching his only remaining brother die while he still hasn’t recovered from the death of his own son a dozen years earlier. He calls his nephew Jody home, but Jody has his own demons, one of which happens to be his little brother. The story goes back and forth from Vernon’s childhood, Jody’s childhood, the present, and various points in between. We learn about a family in which each generation tries to do more and be better than the previous generation, but isn’t quite sure how to go about it.
We also briefly meet Jody’s girlfriend and her family, who have dealt with their own tragedy in a much more healthy way. Maybe. On the surface, they seem to have everything, but the girlfriend, Karen, and her brother Art are each still searching for something.
I know men have emotions, really I do. But I’m still amazed at how much emotion was in this book, written by a man, about a family of men. My only complaint is that we’re given a peek at a couple things, with no follow-through. We get a small glimpse of the pain of both Karen and Art, but I would have liked to see something more there. Doxology really isn’t their story, but maybe we could get another book to flesh out their family? Pretty, please?
The second thing is that we’re given enough information to guess at what happened to Vernon’s son, Billy, we’re never told the actual story. It kind of made the tale feel incomplete to me. However, that is not enough to keep me from recommending this book.
I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Posted March 8, 2012
After a lifetime of abuse and loss–from fights with other boys staged for his father’s entertainment, to the death of his only son– sixty one year old Vernon Davidson is angry. He’s ready to get back at God, his paper mill coworkers, and everyone else in his north Louisiana town. Constantly drunk to numb his pain, the normally cautious Vernon spirals into recklessness; drinking on the job, facing down a younger man at work over a parking spot, scandalizing his former fellow Baptists with displays of his nakedness. Meanwhile Jody Davidson, Vernon’s estranged nephew, struggles to survive a similarly tragic past by self-imposed exile, inserting himself into a new, seemingly different family a thousand miles away. The two men are reunited when Vernon agrees to retrieve Jody for his dying brother so they can say goodbye-and that’s when they each embark on a journey that will ultimately change their lives.
A true study of family dynamics as a family that has drifted apart and works to come back together after so many struggles. This is one of those stories that will stick with you long after you have read the last page. Loss of a person’s faith is never a good thing and we see that while we may give up on God, He never gives up on us. This characters will tug at your heart, make you laugh and maybe shed a tear or two. Holers has written a wonderful story, one that make you stop and think and pray as well.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Posted March 7, 2012
Life has not been kind to Vernon Davidson. He lost his son at an early age and his wife not too long ago. His brother is ill and his nephews have kept away due to their self-imposed exiles for reasons no one truly knows about besides themselves. His disdain and anger at God and the injustices he’s feels have been committed against him grow by the day. So much so, that he’s begun to lash out at those around him in hopes of being able to make sense of the situations he finds himself in.
When Leonard takes a turn for the worst, Vernon is tasked with gathering his estranged children in the hopes that Leonard will get to see them one last time. Unable to refuse a dying man his wish, he sets out to accomplish the impossible. Making contact with one of Leonard’s sons, he asks Jody to come home and makes it clear that his father’s remaining time on Earth is limited. He also decrees that his father wishes to see his brother and sets the task of finding him within Jody’s hands.
Harboring secrets that have led him and his brother to stay away from those they love, Jody knows that this is their chance at setting all wrongs to right. Yet the thought of finding Scooter and bringing him home is daunting. Nonetheless, he prays that he’ll be able to make his brother see reason and thus ease his old man’s worry in regards to things that have happened in the past.
Embarking on a journey to gain understanding about his life and that of his family, Jody comes across secrets and further insight about those he loves. He comes to understand why his Uncle, his father, and his brother are the way they are and the reasons behind their very actions – both past and present.
As each of the men draw ever closer to redemption, their stories intertwine and they begin to understand and accept the paths they’ve all chosen in life. They’re well aware that not everything turns out the way they’ve wanted it to. Their journey’s to enlightment are rocky at best. They know that faith is always around the corner, but only if they truly believe.
While this book does have religious undertones, it’s not really a Christian story. Brian gives insight into a family full of strife and the differences between each and every one of the characters involved. We see their loves, their heartaches, and their triumphs as they strive to find their places within the world the author has built for them.
The story is full of meaning and is very poignant in the messages the author does his best to convey throughout each turn of the page. A lovely story with embedded values any of us can incorporate into our every day lives. Definitely worth reading!