Combustible Books (2014)
Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (12/2014)
“The Father” by Brett Williams was a surprising book for me as for some reason I was expecting some kind of political novel. What I found was so much more! The story begins with the birth of Little John, son of Joseph and Claire Whitaker. They were hoping for an extra pair of hands to help with the farm in the harsh weathered Era of the 1920’s. But Little John’s wheezing did not sound very promising to his father during times when the survival rate of babies was low. None the less Little John survived his childhood and years later the military Police Battalion, which he was part of one the seven thousand archipelagos of The Philippines in 1945. Once home, he marries his sweetheart Candice without the approval of his parents. Approval of his family is what had always lacked in John Whitaker’s life, as he was determined to be everything his father was not and have his own views of what was right, as well as his views on America. The story will continue later on with the story of his son Morgan, who would live his life trying to rectify the past by changing the future. Would he be able to do so? Will America go down the right path in his life time? These are the questions that many of us are currently asking ourselves. Maybe Morgan’s son will, as we hope our children can, answer these questions after we are gone.
Williams is successful in creating a thought provoking literary piece that will resonate with current times. His research on historical facts as the foundation of the different settings within the story are evident not only on his descriptions but also on the forging the father/son relationships through the generations of the Whitaker family. His writing skills shined the way he used dialogue for character development and to move the story forward. The only things that I didn’t see done by Williams were detailed physical descriptions when introducing the character; but this is not necessarily a negative. In all honesty, as I read on I actually loved discovering them through their personalities instead of stereotyping by the details presented to me visually.
I truly enjoyed reading “The Father” by Brett Williams and will recommend it to all readers who enjoy a great literary book that combines generational story lines to present history, philosophy, and deep topics and messages about right and wrong to the readers. A thought provoking five star read!