Southernmost by Silas House


In this stunning novel about judgment, courage, heartbreak, and change, author Silas House wrestles with the limits of belief and the infinite ways to love. In the aftermath of a flood that washes away much of a small Tennessee town, evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter to two gay men. In doing so, he starts to see his life anew—and risks losing everything: his wife, locked into her religious prejudices; his congregation, which shuns...

Details Southernmost

Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherAlgonquin Books of Chapel Hill
GenreFiction, LGBT, Contemporary, American, Southern

Reviews Southernmost

  • Larry H
    4.5 stars."'Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry and as long as we're alive, we can deal with everything else. You know?'"Shortly after the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage, a flood ravages preacher Asher Sharp's small Tennessee town, leaving many in his congregation homeless or with significant property damage. In the wake of the flood, Asher offers shelter to a gay couple, and they begin to visit his church, which roils his congrega...
  • Diane S ☔
    A flood in Cumberland Tennessee, an Evangelical preacher, husband, father to a nine year old and the arrival of two homosexual males looking for succor, all merge in a moment in which for Asher things will never be the same. A crisis of faith, a hard look at ones beliefs, one actions and an act of desperation will cause Asher to do the unthinkable. Trying to make up for his actions in the past, while holding tightly to the only thing he now has o...
  • Jen
    When a small town is hit with a flood, a preacher questions his own morals when his congregation turns away a young gay couple during this time of need.Faced with being ostracized and losing his son, he kidnaps his son and begins his search for his own gay brother who was turned away by him and his mother many years ago.A moving, eloquently written story of a father’s love for his child; redemption and forgiveness. 4.5 When a small town is hi...
  • Elyse Walters
    This is my first Silas House novel. It definitely won’t be my last. It’s very well written - moves quickly - extremely readable. The opening scene of the massive flood that sweeps the Cumberland Valley was incredibly vivid - sensationally felt - and realistic......But it’s the story that follows that weighed ‘massive’ on my mind. The dialogues & relationships- were gut-wrenching believable: raw honest.Here’s an example of one that mad...
  • Candi
    "Being afraid of somebody who’s different’ll make an awful meanness come over you."Acceptance and tolerance. Faith and religion. Marriage and parenting. Silas House does a commendable job of touching on all of these issues in his latest novel, which happens to be my first by this author. The book opens with a catastrophic flooding of the Cumberland River in a small Tennessee town. The flood wreaked its havoc on the heels of the legalization o...
  • Cheri
    4.5 Stars ”The rain had been falling with a pounding meanness, without ceasing for two days, and then the water rose all at once in the middle of the night, a brutal rush so fast Asher thought at first a dam might have broken somewhere upstream. The ground had simply become so saturated it could not hold any more water. All the creeks were conspiring down the ridges until they washed out into the Cumberland. There was no use in anyone going to ...
  • Karen
    4.5A small town pastor, named Asher in Tennessee wants to help a gay couple after the flooding of his region and faces prejudices from his church, the town, and his own wife. He separates from his wife because he realizes the love was never there for him and that she sees things in life different from him.This is the story of Asher’s own upbringing and relationships with his family, (especially with his older brother who is gay and had left tow...
  • Diane Barnes
    You know, this just might be the perfect book for our times. If we could all just be accepting and tolerant of people who choose to follow a different path, if we could all be like 9 year old Justin who thinks God can be found in everything, not just a particular religion, or church, or the bible, think of the kind of world we could have. But, alas, a lot of us grow up to become hardened adults who follow the straight and narrow until it becomes ...
  • Rebecca
    (4.5) In Silas House’s sixth novel, a Tennessee preacher’s family life falls apart when he accepts a gay couple into his church. We go on a long journey in Southernmost: not just a literal road trip from Tennessee to Florida, but also a spiritual passage from judgment to grace. Reconciliation is a major theme, but so is facing up to the consequences of poor decisions. I found the plotting decisions rewarding but also realistic. The pattern of...
  • Connie G
    After a flood washes away some houses in a rural Tennessee town, the evangelical preacher Asher Sharp offers shelter for the night to two gay men. His wife refuses to let them stay since she has religious prejudices. Asher feels guilty because his family and his community condemned his gay brother, Luke, years ago. Luke left Tennessee and his postcards suggest he's living in Key West.After Asher preaches about tolerance to his congregation, they ...
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    I received this on #netgalley in exchange for my review. A disgraced evangelical preacher finds his religion and community too angry and judgmental. After a divorce, he kidnaps his son and goes to Key West where he hopes to find his estranged brother. These huge transformations happen quickly without much exploration of the cause. Overall, I found the themes, development, characters and the writing to be overly simplistic and sentimental. 2.5 I...
  • Alison
    For the big, deep, spiritual themes it was attempting to examine, it devolved into cliche and superficiality most of the time. Same with the prose itself: beaches and skies and birds and the feeling of God were described in ways I've read a hundred times before. There were writerly ticks that should have been caught in the editing process: all the minor female characters were described as either very overweight or talking in a babyish voice, and ...
  • Libby
    4.5 stars rounded up - In ‘Southernmost,’ Asher Sharp is in the midst of a transformation; a transformation that will eventually carry him from Tennessee to the southernmost part of the United States, Key West, Florida. A Pentecostal preacher, whose congregation picked him because he didn’t go to seminary, Asher has been following the life that was expected of him. His role as preacher made his mother happy and soothed some of the pain of d...
  • Nancy
    At university, I took a course in religion with a professor who was ordained and had studied under Karl Barth. He told me that students come into his class with a naive belief and what he taught shook them for they had never viewed their faith community and beliefs from the 'outside'. And, the professor continued, perhaps they will later return to their church and reaffirm it, this time with a deeper kind of faith.But letting go of what one is ta...
  • Barbara
    “Southernmost” Illuminates the reader to the harsh judgments and prejudges of the Deep South. Taking place in Tennessee, an evangelical preacher comes to a crossroad of his faith when his wife and congregation snub a gay couple. Pastor Asher Sharp has an epiphany when his wife harshly sends packing a homeless gay couple, calling them an abomination. Asher wonders when he lost love and tolerance in his fire and brimstone preaching. This is a w...
    In Silas House's latest novel, SOUTHERNMOST, a cataclysmic natural event (flood on the Cumberland River upstream from Nashville) triggers a cataclysmic social event (a rural Pentecostal minister, Asher, offers two homeless gay men shelter, but his straight-laced wife isn't having any of it; nor when he invites them to his church, is the congregation). The plot develops in an unexpected way that keeps Asher at the heart of it, undergirded by Silas...
  • Laurel Schulert
    This book had a very interesting premise, but the writing left me wanting so much more. Most characters were two-dimensional stereotypes. One of the first scenes in the book is of Asher struggling to pray with his devout wife, and this scene then directly leads to his his crisis of faith (the event that sets the plot of the book in motion). The premise is interesting, but the writing is so heavy-handed there's no surprises along the way. The desc...
  • Laura
    Thoughts in general KINDNESS. More to come but still processing. Struggling with how the protagonist is perceived by me.
  • Beth Bissmeyer
    Really not big on writing reviews, but want to note that this book has some really, beautiful descriptive language that sticks with you. Silas House's characters and the vivid scenes he creates will stay with you well after finishing the book. Plenty of passages I already know I want to go back to. House's descriptions of one character's idea of God resonates deeply with me (and I'm more on the agnostic side of things). If you enjoy a good story ...
  • Charlie Smith
    Complete, unedited thoughts here: Disclosure: I bought Southernmost from my beloved local indie, Curious Iguana, because it was blurbed by Garth Greenwell, whose novel, What Belongs To You, remains one of my lifetime favorite books. I did not get a free copy. I do not know the author. I am just a reader devoted to good writing.Full Disclosure Part 2: To read a novel in which many actions are motivated ...
  • Jennifer Lane
    Religious JudgmentI think religion can enrich our lives, but I dislike when religion is used to judge others. Yes, there is right and wrong, but who's to say we earthly beings have a right to condemn others who are different from us? This story shows the triumph of keeping faith while letting go of judgment.Asher is a pastor of a fundamentalist church in Tennessee whose upbringing taught fire-and-brimstone interpretations of the Bible, including ...
  • Michael
    This book! I very nearly gave it 4 stars instead, only because of the ending. It almost leaves you...what’s the right word, hollowed out and searching for what to fill that void with. Personally, I think I didn’t want to let these characters go. They made my heart ache in all the right ways. Silas House is an amazing writer. The pace is brisk, but he utilizes language in such a clipped manner that you can feel a character’s suffering with t...
  • Nicholas Brown
    Another masterpiece by @silashouse
  • Leslie
    Pentecostal preacher Asher Stark's welcome of a gay couple to his church upends his entire life--his job, his faith, his marriage--in this beautifully written piece on the big themes of love, faith and courage. Short chapters make the story move quickly, but characters--and particularly his son Justin, descriptions of Tennessee and Key West, the road trip, and the wrenching position that Asher finds himself in, make this "quiet" novel really comp...
  • Neville Longbottom
    3.5 - This was a nice book but ultimately I don’t think I got much out of it. Southernmost follows Asher, an evangelical preacher in Tennessee who is ousted from his congregation after he offers shelter and tolerance to two gay men. Following a custody battle Asher decides to kidnap his son Justin and flee to Key West. He's there to look for his brother Luke, who Asher shunned years ago after Luke came out. I don’t know. There wasn’t anythi...
  • Julie
    A slow-moving gentle novel with some lovely descriptive language. Sadly, I really didn't connect with the characters or feel drawn into the story, which challenges us to treat people with tolerance, especially those that have a different perspective on life. After reading part one, this book lay waiting for me to re-discover it for several weeks. Now that it is due back to the Library, I have skimmed the rest.
  • Linda
    I fell in love with Silas House’s writing many years ago. He is foremost a gifted storyteller. In his newest book you will find-Lyrically beautiful moments. Heart wrenching choices to be made. Life lessons to be pondered. Characters you will not soon forget. Silas House is a treasure to be sure and so is his newest book Sothernmost not to be missed.
  • Maureen Grigsby
    This was a beautifully written book about marriage, love, forgiveness etc. Silas House is a terrific writer!!!
  • Doreen
    Asher Sharp is an evangelical preacher in Tennessee. His community experiences a terrible flood and “More than one of his congregants . . . blamed this new flood on the Supreme Court’s ruling [in favour of gay marriage].” A decade earlier, Asher rejected his brother Luke when he announced that he was a homosexual; Luke has been feeling guilty about turning his back on his brother and now welcomes two gay men into his church. That decision r...