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Book Review: 'Doxology' by Brian Holers

Kristina Pino1 Comment
More than anything else, Doxology is a book about reconnecting and coming home after straying from the right path. Vernon Davidson, 61 years old, isolated, driven to drinking to ease the pain, is now faced with a new hurdle in his life: his brother is on his death bed.

His brother's request is for Vernon to find his sons Jody and Scooter. And this is where the book begins. We don't know much about Vernon or the Davidson family in general, how much they've abused and isolated each other at the beginning of the book. We just know that Vernon is an angry guy that looks forward to Easter Sunday when he can strut around his backyard (facing the church) naked doing his laundry.

In reuniting with his nephew Jody, things start to come apart. Everything comes out: Vernon's son's death, the family history, the memories, what he thinks about the future, his reasoning for leaving the church, everything. And with it came the healing. Doxology follows the course of Vernon's path to "going home," of figuring out what he needed in order to let go and be a happy man.

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Doxology is a man's book. I realize how odd it is for me to be saying it as a woman, but it's true. The Davidson family is comprised of brotherly, father and son, nephew and uncle, man and dog relationships. It's about pride and other things, too. It's also about faith and healing; in the end, Vernon returns to the church he'd abandoned long ago following the untimely death of his only son.

Even so, I found the book to be quite touching. I even found it funny at times, because Brian Holers wrote it in such a way that really brought all these deep Louisiana characters to life, southern accents and all. I felt connected to the characters, and also enjoyed that the perspective wasn't always on Vernon. Occasionally shifting the narrative over to Jody gave us readers a deeper understanding of their family dynamic through his own isolation or estrangement from his brother.

This is a book I'd recommend to lovers of Christian literature and stories of life and loss, coping and living with the changes.

A big thanks goes out to Brian Holers and Emlyn Chand for running this blog tour and providing me a review copy of the novel!