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
GenreFiction, Contemporary, American, Southern, Lgbt

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...
  • Elyse
    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
    A 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 town y...
  • 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 Foster
    (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
    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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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⭐ ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
    Well, I couldn't wait for the drawing -- having read such glowing reviews already, I ordered and read SOUTHERNMOST on my own. I think it's wonderful, a complex novel that is triggered by a catacylsmic natural event (flood on the Cumberland River upstream from Nashville) that 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...
  • 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 ...
  • Nicholas Brown
    Another masterpiece by @silashouse <3 <3 <3 such a powerful story of love, transformation, family, and spirituality. Thank you 🙏 “You’ve got to find the Everything wherever you are.”
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Theresa
    As others have said, this book skillfully shows a path to tolerance of those living differently from ourselves. We’ve come quite a way toward change, but still live with prejudices every day. Well worth a read, and it’s not a long book, but I felt it could have been paced a little quicker toward its inevitable resolution. 3.5 rounded up.
  • Monica
    This is an absolutely beautiful novel. It’s a moving story about a pastor bit so much losing his faith as finding a truer one.
  • Becky C.
    When Pentecostal preacher Asher Sharp offers hospitality to a gay couple who have lost everything in a flood, his wife objects and sets off a series of events that lead to Asher going on the run with his son in search of his estranged gay brother who has been sending him cryptic postcards from Key West for ten years. It is set in that place where settled faith is challenged and reformed all the while aided by his gentle son, Justin, who is "too s...
  • Pam
    Timely primary topic, but also deals with other timeless conflicts some more in depth than others. It left me wanting to know more about the characters and their lives as a result of Asher's decisions. Wish some of the women characters, especially in Key West, were less predictable, more developed. However, House demonstrates an insightfulunderstanding of the power of home and the ripple effect through generations and society from how and what a ...
  • 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 ...
  • Stephenie
    Asher is a father, a preacher, a husband, a brother, struggling with the culture of belief he finds himself in the center or. In the novel, Southernmost, A timely novel, Southernmost deals with the conflict of coming to terms with and standing up for what you believe, even when you know that in doing so you will risk losing everything.As an Evangelical preacher, Asher has always seen the world through one set of conservatively religious lenses, c...
  • Gochrisgo
    Brilliant fresh novel exploring the different ways we can love - focusing on the love fathers have for their sons, love between brothers, and love in queer families of choice. There are not many novels that speak about these communities. Riveting writing style mirrors the way people really speak.
  • 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...
  • Janet
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- "In Silas House’s moving new novel, a pastor wrestles with a crisis not just of faith but of all the apparent certainties of his life: a crisis of marriage, of community, of fatherhood. This is a novel of painful, finally revelatory awakening, of fierce love and necessary disaster, of the bravery required to escape the ...
  • Mary Robinson
    HIGHLY RECOMMEND, with thanks to the author, Silas House, the publisher, Algonquin Books, and for the advanced reader copy.Southernmost is a beautifully crafted and very well written contemporary novel. Asher Sharp is an evangelical preacher, born and raised in Tennessee, where he still lives with his wife and 9 year old son. When the Cumberland River reaches extreme flood levels, their community is ravaged by the waters. He spends ...
  • 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...