Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart HarrisonPublisher: Create Space (August 16, 2016) Category: Literary Fiction; Contemporary Fiction; Family Saga Tour Date: January & February, 2017 ISBN: 978-1530900282 Available in: Print & ebook, 336 Pages
"This is your last chance to do something right, son. Don't screw it up." With these words ringing in his 60-year old ears, Howard Brown, Jr., sets out from Kentfield, California to find his wayward and possibly psychotic sister and return her to their dying father's bedside. The search leads him to the Brown family's ancestral home near St. Francisville, Louisiana, where his Southern cousins have apparently conspired with his sister to bilk him out his inherited, potentially oil-rich property. At the same time, he discovers that a long dormant birthmark in his sternum is a portal to the land of the dead. His consciousness is suddenly inundated with terrifying visitations from a rogue's gallery of twisted ancestors, until he fears that he is just as crazy as his sister and everybody else in their labyrinthine family. Wounded to his core, doped up and strung out, Howard discovers that his salvation is beating loud and clear, within his own weary heart, and that all he has to do is listen. The Healing of Howard Brown is a capacious and energetic narrative of self-discovery, delivered with an authentic voice that is supple, smart, somber, witty, ironic, self-revealing, self-doubting, and wonderfully lyrical. Themes of family, trust and responsibility to others, the national as well as personal past, and the life of the spirit resound throughout, with a cultural resonance involving class and race, the North and the South, the definition of masculine identity, and, centrally, the nature of mature love in a multitude of relationships-husband-wife, brother-sister, father-son- in the face of a debilitating mental illness that runs like a poison vein through the family tree.
Praise for Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison"If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers." - Jim Heynen, author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys' House, You Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.
“This book starts off with a bang and keeps on going. Howard is a character with a specific voice and story. I'm sure you'll be provoked and entertained.”- Jessica Barksdale Inclan, author of The Believe Trilogy, The Being Trilogy, and many more.
“Jeb Stewart Harrison is an original writer and a multitalented creative person. I enjoy his unique and often innovative narrative structure. His books are thoughtfully written and a pleasure to read and savor. While you turn future pages in your life reread this inspiring story. As time goes by—(when you’re older and hopefully ‘wiser’) you’ll feel new motivation with each visit into Howard’s inimitable life.”- Paul C. Steffy, author, The Good Soldier—based on his Infantry year in Vietnam.
“An ambitious story that navigates themes of family, redemption and even metaphysics, in a thought-provoking, humorous way. Harrison clearly has a deep affection for Howard and the myriad of colorful folk who make up his complex, often crazy life. A book any reader will continue thinking about long after putting it down.”- NW Bookman, Amazon Reviewer
About Jeb Stewart Harrison
Jeb Stewart Harrison is a freelance writer, songwriter, musician and painter in Stinson Beach, California. After many years as an ad agency copywriter, writer/producer, creative director, and director of marketing communications, Jeb now writes fiction and creative non-fiction, along with commercial works for hire. Jeb’s debut novel, Hack, was published by Harper Davis Publishers in August 2012. In 2015 he received his MFA from Pacific Lutheran University at the tender age of 60, and followed up with the publication of "The Healing of Howard Brown" in August, 2016. He also records and plays electric bass guitar with the popular instrumental combo The Treble Makers, as well as Bay Area favorites Call Me Bwana. Jeb was born and raised in Kentfield, California, and has lived in Boulder, CO; Missoula, MT; Hollywood, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; Indianapolis, IN and Ridgefield, CT.
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I thought that this story was going to be about a family dealing with their father's death. That is only the beginning. The author took me down memory lane through his family's past. All along I was learning more about why Howard was himself. As more family members were brought into the plot I started to feel as though I was a part of their history. The thing about siblings is that they know your past. It was an interesting dynamic to read how they got along. Especially with mental illness playing a role. I liked the ending, and I also liked the way that the author wrote in first person. This is a book that I am going to have to read more than once! I am giving this book a 4/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own.