Silas House returned to the program to discuss his new novel "Southernmost." The last time we had Silas on the show it was when he had just published his novel "Clay's Quilt." That was far too long ago.
House grew up in a small town in Kentucky and he frequently sets his stories in the Appalachian region. "Southernmost" opens in rural Tennessee. A minister named Asher Sharp is living in a small town. He's the preacher at an evangelical church. He is married to a woman who seems perfectly suited to being the wife of a preacher. They have a son who is a very special young man. This is a boy who feels a lot of empathy and he seems very pure of heart.
As the book begins a torrential rain is causing flooding and a pair of men who were residing at a lower elevation are suddenly at their doorstep seeking shelter with Asher and his family as the floodwaters are rising. Asher is willing to allow these two men to stay with them but his wife has objections, these men are a gay couple and in her mind they are sinners. She insists that they be turned away. No room at the inn, so to speak.
This incident is quite painful for Asher. He had been trying to make amends for something he did years ago when he had rejected his own brother because his brother is gay. Now that brother has mostly vanished from Asher's life. Asher is on the brink of a personal crisis. His marriage is collapsing. His religious faith and his ministry are in turmoil.
Asher is walking along life's ledges and his precarious footing is about to crumble. He's on the verge of making a crazy, illegal decision. But this becomes something he feels that he really has to do. Read this book. It is a beauty.
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