Wednesday, January 9, 2013

{Review} Well With My Soul by Gregory G. Allen

ISBN #: 978-0983604907
Page Count: 336
Copyright: October 11, 2011
Publisher: ASD Publishing

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Jacob and Noah Garrett are brothers harboring a lifelong resentment towards each other while dealing with their own compulsive obsessions. One is a liberal gay man who forsakes his family and moves to New York City from Tennessee to make his mark on the world. The other is a southern conservative who is left at home holding the proverbial family bag.

The story follows their loosely intertwined lives through the wild times of the late seventies and the restraint of the Reagan years in which one brother ends up becoming a minister and preaching his doctrine while the other believes there are some things people are born with and not meant to change.

Well With My Soul is told through the perspective of both brothers and shows how misguided choices can drastically affect those around you for years to come; and family may be all that one has when looking for peace to stifle the embers that smolder beneath the surface.

Mandy's Review:

Family often sucks. Single-parent families are one of the worst. I know, I've been there. What if your sibling is God's gift to creation and can do no wrong yet you are criticized and judged on everything you do? Do you know how that feels?

Welcome to the world of Jacob and Noah in Well With My Soul. Their father died a while ago and they've been living under their mother's care ever since. One son is mommy's little angel while the other lives in resentment and defeat. Things begin to change, though, when mommy's angel decides to leave home and head off to the bright lights of New York City.

The separation causes each son to head down a path they wouldn't have otherwise known. The NYC man becomes a world-famous model and gets involved heavily into the party scene. The Tennessee man stays home and takes care of their mom until the day she dies. Once her funeral's over, he heads to Nashville to begin again.

Reflecting back over this book, I can still feel the emotions of Jacob and Noah. I don't want to give too much away, but the bottom line is it's all up to a person to determine their destiny. You have to want something bad enough to make things happen. The problems comes when what you want is a selfish way of living. You have to make smart decisions, but that doesn't always happen. Jacob and Noah are like the yin-yang of each other. At the beginning, one son has a defeatist attitude and walks around upset while the other is living life without a care. At the end, the depressed son has become successful in every area of his life, while the other has lost everything that he cares about most.

It's all about choices, people, the good and the bad. You have to be careful and consider how your choices will affect your life in the long run because it may affect others' lives as well.

Well With My Soul came alive from the first page. I knew Noah and Jacob. I felt their emotions, their struggles, their desires. I became friends with them both. I was glad to see that they did try to be brothers and friends towards the end. This is a novel I would definitely recommend to all you fiction-lovers out there who enjoy novels that ring true.

By the way, I purposefully did not talk about one of the brothers being gay. Why? Because, while homosexuals are represented in this novel, that is not what the novel is about. It is much more than that. The homosexuality is just another way of showcasing the vast differences between the two brothers. If you read it, look beyond that and open yourself up to the emotions within this story.

*A paperback copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic review, Mandy. I read this book last year and you are spot on with your observations. I truly recommend it too!


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