The Fatherby Brett Williams
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What is the fate of America and each of us as individuals? As a literary fiction, "The Father" addresses these vital questions as it traces four generations of the Whitaker family through the evolution of modernity. Amongst modesty of private lives in 1926 rural America, John Whitaker is born to a conflation of events, signifying paths crossed by this world with another. Conflicts in John's family express widening chasms between changing views - from belonging to autonomy, religious belief to skepticism, self-sacrifice to self-indulgence. Eventually, John has a son of his own, Morgan. Morgan arrives in a materialistic world of public lives, captivated by potentials for greatness during America's ascendancy. Morgan also absorbs social movements against authority to wage combat with his father John as he watches America abandon reason to become ever more dogmatic. Realizing battles with his father were an impersonation of present fashion, history will not be rectified as John is dead. Since Morgan cannot correct the past he sets out to fix the future in a fistfight with society. Failing to change the world, Morgan spends his last dollar on an adventure to the Yucatan where fate provides a woman, commencing the love story of his life. Morgan tries to inoculate their son against the ills of humanity with the wonders of nature and ruins of man, but Morgan's son finds hope in the human race. Convinced he's found salvation for people and their civilizations, Morgan's son takes his message to a greater audience than his father, navigating a second Axial Age, fiercely attacked by Morgan on a global stage during The Great Upheaval of 2057.
Meet the Author
Award winning author, Brett Williams spent his career as a physicist in engineering and applied research in Dallas, Houston, and Southern California. He is a landscape oil painter and frequent backcountry hiker. He left physics to focus on writing, painting and travel. The Father is his debut novel, and 2014 Global eBook Award winner in New Fiction. More about Williams and The Father can be found at www.TheFatherTrilogy.com.
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Reviewed by Valerie Rouse for Readers' Favorite The Father is an interesting story about three generations of the Whitaker family. Joseph Whitaker was a farmer. He raised his son, John; John raised his son, Morgan; and Morgan named his child John, giving him his grandfather’s name. Author Brett Williams traced the lineage of this poor Midwest farmer, Joseph. He showed how each successive father influenced his offspring socially, psychologically and intellectually. Joseph was very strict as a father. He was a dedicated farmer and he believed that tilling the land was the ultimate job to have. John did not share his father’s love of the land to that extent. He wanted to get as far away from the countryside as possible. As a child, he had a love for animals and nature. He served as a soldier in the army in World War II. He got married after his stint there and had twin sons, plus another son, Morgan. Morgan was a different child. He was inquisitive and intuitive. He followed his passions of science and theatre as a man. He met the woman of his dreams, got married and had his son John. John had both his grandfather’s traits as well as his dad’s. At thirteen years of age, he was an avid reader, always questioning the status quo. Like Morgan, as a man he set off to see the world his way. The Father is a book that allows you to be introspective. As you read it, you wonder what kind of legacy you are leaving for your kids. I love the attention to detail that author Brett Williams placed on each child’s upbringing. This suggests that this period of a child’s life is very important. At this juncture, persons who have influenced the child play a role in the way that child matures into an adult. It also affects the choices that child makes and so on. The language used is simple and easy to understand. I love the way in which the author showcased the cultural differences of the generations. In a way, this can transform the novel into a learning tool instead of just a form of entertainment. Readers would be able to glean some truths about the proverbial generation gap. Most persons realize that there are fundamental differences between the way persons of the younger and older generations operate. For example, when I was younger, my mother taught me to iron bed sheets. I don’t teach my children to do this because nowadays the sheets available for purchase are wash and wear. When I told my children that I used to do this, they were amazed. This clearly demonstrates the differences of opinion in my generation. Overall, The Father is a good read. I recommend it to all readers.
An excellent story addressing two questions in this philosophical journey through four generations of Whitakers: where is American society headed? And what is the validity of a spiritual life? The author weaves a wonderful tale of intertwined, personal confrontations with these questions as the characters are developed through their stories. Bread crumbs are left for the reader, leading a path from 1926 where blind faith in our creator is in concert with patriotism; during a time where through community and country people believed they were a part of something greater than themselves. The path traverses through the generations as the reader witnesses the evolution of core beliefs to the present where self-concern and apathy toward a greater good enables the empowerment of pseudo-intellectuals to re-define history to cater to the majority populace of victims. The extrapolation to the future is an easy one as the author provides strong reference to current day events that illustrate the movement in academia and party platforms that goes unnoticed by the general populace, but soon becomes the core of the country’s legislation. One of the story’s main characters, representing hope and common sense challenges the immutable course through debate at one of our country’s patriotic corner stones. What begins with an active discourse with academic mavens, leads to a final debate between son and father … one that has been a lifetime in the making. Each has a noble motive for entering the dialogue, but it is only when their gloves are removed in the end that they reveal how much each means to each other.The story is a strong, thought-provoking message, providing an impeccably researched glimpse of where our country’s current path could lead. It is a must-read … twice