Book Review: Doxology by Brian Holers

This review is part of a blog tour for Doxology. Keep reading to find out how you can have the chance to win. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

Amazon summary
Vernon Davidson is an angry man. After a lifetime of abuse and loss the 61-year-old is ready to get back at God, his co-workers, and everyone else is in his north Louisiana hometown. He drinks too much to numb the pain, shuns his friends and embarrasses himself in the community. The once-cautious Vernon spirals into a reckless mess. 

Only when he is reunited with his estranged nephew Jody is he forced to confront his situation. Jody is struggling in equal parts after inflicting a self-imposed exile upon himself by fleeing the family, and thereby himself, for a new life thousands of miles away. Now his father, Vernon’s brother, is dying and Vernon agrees to retrieve him for his brother’s sake.

Jody embarks on a reluctant journey back to his Louisiana home and the two men together embark on a journey that will ultimately change their lives.

My review
I’m usually pretty good with words, but I’m not sure I can do justice to this book. I was expecting a lot just from reading the excerpt and Brian’s own words about the book, but this was beyond what I anticipated. The story of fathers and sons, brothers and cousins, had me laughing out loud one minute and bawling like a baby the next. Like life, it was up and down.

Vernon Davidson is watching his only remaining brother die while he still hasn’t recovered from the death of his own son a dozen years earlier. He calls his nephew Jody home, but Jody has his own demons, one of which happens to be his little brother. The story goes back and forth from Vernon’s childhood, Jody’s childhood, the present, and various points in between. We learn about a family in which each generation tries to do more and be better than the previous generation, but isn’t quite sure how to go about it.

We also briefly meet Jody’s girlfriend and her family, who have dealt with their own tragedy in a much more healthy way. Maybe. On the surface, they seem to have everything, but the girlfriend, Karen, and her brother Art are each still searching for something.

I know men have emotions, really I do. But I’m still amazed at how much emotion was in this book, written by a man, about a family of men. My only complaint is that we’re given a peek at a couple things, with no follow-through. We get a small glimpse of the pain of both Karen and Art, but I would have liked to see something more there. Doxology really isn’t their story, but maybe we could get another book to flesh out their family? Pretty, please?

The second thing is that we’re given enough information to guess at what happened to Vernon’s son, Billy, we’re never told the actual story. It kind of made the tale feel incomplete to me. However, that is not enough to keep me from recommending this book.

About the book
Title: Doxology
Author: Brian Holers
Publisher: BDH Productions
Release date: August 10, 2011
Pages: 272
Where I got the book: Free from the author in exchange for an honest review

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About the book: Fathers, sons and brothers reconnect over tragedy in this blue-collar Southern tale of love, loss, and the healing power of community and family. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: An arborist by day and a novelist in every moment he can steal, Brian makes up stories from the treetops. Visit Brian on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.