Elizabeth Carson's Reviews > The Father

The Father by Brett Alan Williams
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it was amazing

In this review I want to touch on two issues “The Father” raised for me, good and bad: my emotional response to “the story,” and to “the message.” With an interest in the psychological aspects of spirituality I was intrigued by, and suspicious of this work, right from the provocative book cover. Opening with hard times experienced by the Whitaker farm family in 1920’s Midwest America, salted just a little with some kind of mystical event, piqued my interest. Each chapter connects to the last with anticipation and a question of some kind, mostly what’s going to happen next? Pace in the story matches the times, slower and more simple in the past, picking up in stride until the love story between Morgan and Ne Shole heats up and a massive earthquake separates them. At this point I was breathless, anxious for the world to be set right.

There are a few chapters that get rather heavy with intellectual dialogue, and I was almost always absorbed by them. However, on occasion I had to reread several pages of an argument. While I wished the author had found a more laconic expression, the extra effort was an Ah Ha moment for me, and useful for later debates when ideas clicked together. I felt strong empathy for both the protagonist and antagonist. By the end I was sad, frightened for what I see in the world around me as an imitation of this tale, and encouraged to feel there’s a better way. For me, “the story” was a success. I liked the way this author eased through early history, jumped into action in the present, and wrecked our world with a glimmer of hope in the end. (Remember this is volume 1 of a trilogy.)

Now for “the message.” There are two, in keeping with storylines. For the America question this book is a slap in the face to both political sides, so no matter where you stand you’re mad (clearly intended). For the second, that of “salvation,” this book is going to make some people very angry. Consider what one character does to accepted religion. Only careful readers will see it. But when they do (and I mean “believers”) there’s going to be some really hot tempers. I’m so far unable to tell for sure what position the author holds on the question of “religion proper” because counter arguments are so even. (Spirituality is another matter. Clearly the author seeks an embrace of it, with accompanying empathy for all living things.) But this ambiguity will not quiet the outrage when it’s recognized that one of the characters nudges religion in a new, “progressive” direction. What he says is not accepted scriptural teaching. The kicker is, he’s the religious believer, not the attacker. The atheist-antagonist is easier to dismiss (sometimes not), but the believer is the stealth change agent. Oh boy... This book could see a flood of poor ratings.

I purchased my copy at a local arts festival.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 1, 2014 – Finished Reading
September 3, 2014 – Shelved
September 3, 2014 –
page 87
September 12, 2014 –
page 317
September 12, 2014 –
page 320
September 12, 2014 –
page 326

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