Review of The Grass Sweeper God by Doug Howery

My Book Tour will be sponsoring a Virtual Book Tour of The Grass Sweeper God by Doug Howery, July 6th through July 10th. Please stop by at check it out. In the meantime, eBook Review Gal is sharing a review of the book here.

The Grass Sweeper GodThe Grass Sweeper God by Doug Howery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Smiley Hanlon’s life certainly is not an easy one. His mother abandoned him and left him in the care of his loving aunt and abusive uncle. In addition to that, Smiley is different than most other boys his age who are growing up in 1950s Solitude, Virginia. He’s ridiculed, beat up and bullied for dressing and “behaving” more like a girl than a boy. Despite these things, Smiley remains positive, happy, outgoing and determined to stay true to himself. His best friend, Lee Moore, remains by his side throughout it all and becomes Smiley’s devoted protector.

The Grass Sweeper God is a complex tale about growing up different and overcoming the ignorance, fear and hatred that so often comes with it. At times, this book is absolutely heartbreaking. The horrendous and despicable acts humans are capable of committing against each other, simply for being different, are shocking and infuriating. Doug Howery holds no punches when depicting these atrocities, and readers can be thankful for that. There’s no reason to sugarcoat the stories of vicious and downright criminal behavior endured by Smiley and his friends when one is looking to bring about change.

A certain amount of spiritualism and mysticism is introduced into the story. Through his friend, Carr, who is a local Native American, Smiley learns that the Grass Sweeper God is a powerful spiritual force. Carr also explains to Smiley about being a winkte – people with two souls and special spiritual talents. Throughout his life, Carr remains a faithful and loving friend and teacher to Smiley.

Doug Howery has written The Grass Sweeper God from several POVs and he does it seamlessly. Hearing the story from the POV of several characters adds a great deal of substance and interest to the novel. Although The Grass Sweeper God is a work of fiction, one can easily imagine that Mr. Howery has experienced many of the prejudices in his story firsthand, since the book’s characters and storyline are so well-developed. He’s careful to present several views on homosexuality and transgender issues, which is important for anyone looking for insight into these timely topics.

I would highly recommend The Grass Sweeper God. It’s well-written, heartfelt, engaging and informative. Kudos to Doug Howery for sharing this story! received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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