"This is your last chance to do something right, son. Don't screw it up."
With these words ringing in his 60-year old ears, Howard Brown, Jr., sets out from Kentfield, California to find his wayward and possibly psychotic sister and return her to their dying father's bedside. The search leads him to the Brown family's ancestral home near St. Francisville, Louisiana, where his Southern cousins have apparently conspired with his sister to bilk him out his inherited, potentially oil-rich property. At the same time, he discovers that a long dormant birthmark in his sternum is a portal to the land of the dead. His consciousness is suddenly inundated with terrifying visions of murderous rebels, bloodthirsty zombies, and visitations from a rogue's gallery of twisted ancestors, until he fears that he is just as crazy as his sister and everybody else in their labyrinthine family. Wounded to his core, doped up and strung out, Howard discovers that his salvation is beating loud and clear within his own weary heart, and that all he has to do is listen.
The Healing of Howard Brown is a capacious and energetic narrative of self-discovery, delivered with an authentic voice that is supple, smart, somber, witty, ironic, self-revealing, self-doubting, and wonderfully lyrical. Themes of family, trust and responsibility to others, the national as well as personal past, and the life of the spirit resound throughout, with a cultural resonance involving class and race, the North and the South, the definition of masculine identity, and, centrally, the nature of mature love in a multitude of relationships-husband-wife, brother-sister, father-son- in the face of a debilitating mental illness that runs like a poison vein through the family tree.
"If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers."
- Jim Heynen, author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys' House, You Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.
|Product dimensions:||5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jeb Stewart Harrison is a freelance writer, songwriter, musician and painter in Stinson Beach, California. After many years as an ad agency copywriter, writer/producer, creative director, and director of marketing communications, Jeb now writes fiction and creative non-fiction, along with commercial works for hire. Jeb's debut novel, Hack, was published by Harper Davis Publishers in August 2012. In 2015 he received his MFA from Pacific Lutheran University at the tender age of 60. He also records and plays electric bass guitar with the popular instrumental combo The Treble Makers, as well as Bay Area favorites Call Me Bwana. Jeb was born and raised in Kentfield, California, and has lived in Boulder, CO; Missoula, MT; Hollywood, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Indianapolis, IN and Ridgefield, CT.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Howard Brown is a sixty year old retired high school English teacher. He has just lived with his father in his final moments of cancer. With his passing, it is up to Howard to return to the family plantation to find his sister, Sisi that disappeared years earlier. But as Howard makes his way to St. Francisville, Louisiana and revisits his home, family, and those that still live there, Howard starts making discoveries of his own. Howard comes from a family with lots of trouble from alcohol, drug use, mental illness, abuse, and so much more. Howard has been living his life but with the passing of his father he has to reach out and deal with all that he has been ignoring. Just that makes this a wonderful story of healing. But then there is Sisi and his cousins. Is Sisi as crazy as she appears or does she have her own plan? And what is it about the possibility of oil on the family plantation? The Healing of Howard Brown is not one of my usual reads but I when I was asked to take part in the tour I was interested. I’m so happy that I read this book. It is beautifully written, wonderful imagery, and has such a heartwarming story as you follow along with Howard healing from the past. This is a wonderful story and one that I strongly recommend. I received The Healing of Howard Brown from Teddy at Virtual Author Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
In The Healing of Howard Brown, author Jeb Stewart Harrison weaves an intriguing contemporary literary tale that follows sixty year old retired high school English teacher / basketball coach Howard Brown Jr., as he embarks on a personal journey to unravel the intricate dynamics of his dysfunctional family history, and unexpectedly gains a new level of self-discovery. Set in Kentfield, California and St. Francisville, Louisiana, and told in the first person narrative, the author weaves a fascinating tale that easily engages the reader to follow Howard's journey to find his missing mentally unstable sister Sisi, who disappeared before the the death of their father. Howard takes the reader on a wild ride as his journey into his family's dysfunctional past mixes with the present, leading him from his home in California back to his father's family's old plantation property in Louisiana in search of Sisi, that will unexpectedly lead him on a personal journey of deep soul searching and self-discovery. The author weaves a well written and fascinating family drama that delves into the complexity of the Brown family dynamic, and the serious issues of alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, Alzheimer's Disease, and emotional abuse that plagued the Brown family throughout the years. Through all the crazy mishaps and trials and tribulations that Howard endures while on his journey, he learns to face his demons, the importance of letting go, and the healing power of redemption. The author provides a wonderful mixture of drama, humor, and seriousness to the story that easily keeps the reader's interest as Howard's journey unfolds. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really enjoyed the author's rich and vividly descriptive style of writing, especially the wonderful descriptions of the California and Louisiana settings. The Healing of Howard Brown is a thought-provoking contemporary literary tale that will draw you in, touch your soul, and leave a smile on your face. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.