Sam Keen’s international bestseller, Fire in the Belly, addressed the potent issue of manliness in modern society. Taking it a step further, Keen and his son, Gifford, present an emotional sequel in Prodigal Father, Wayward Son: A Roadmap to Reconciliation, an autobiographical conversation exploring fatherhood and the quest to become a man.
The Keens issue an “invitation to a journey” using their own reflections, some painful, some humorous, some tender, but all meaningful, as a “map to explore those key memories and stories that define your relationships.” The result is a cathartic memoir of forgiveness, healing, and freedom, a metamorphosis reaching back to Sam’s father and forward to Gif’s son. Using alternating points of view to explore past mistakes and triumphs, the Keens search for the origin of all the hurts, power struggles, and mistrust that kept them in a negative cycle, unable to truly connect as father and son. An honest and powerful look at fatherhood, Prodigal Father, Wayward Son explores the influences of society and culture from the Great Depression to the conservative South, free thinking in the ’60s and ‘70s, and the rise of technology. Although focusing on the particular struggle of men, the Keens’s sentiments hold relevance for mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters as well, shedding light on actions and attitudes with the potential to bring families in all walks of life closer together.
Pallas Gates McCorquodale
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