Review: A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown

19th September 2013

*This book was sent to me by the publisher Top Shelf Productions in exchange for an honest review.

Jeffrey Brown tags this book as “an autobiographical meditation on fatherhood and faith” – and it’s an apt description. A series of moments reflecting on both subjects, the book is full of moments of wisdom and humor.

A Matter of Life is dedicated to Brown’s father and son, and throughout, Brown teases out moments of poignancy. At one point, he and his brother are sitting down to pizza with his father. His father has filled glasses with ice, but one son drinks out of the can while the other prefers a glass without ice. The dad remarks that he’s only trying to help as they sit down to eat. The last frame shows two glasses with ice sitting on the counter. I can’t quite put into words why this particular snippet stuck out to me, but it did. I thought of my own parents and the small things they do for me that perhaps I don’t fully appreciate or even recognize.

Though A Matter of Life is a series of meditations and not one continuous storyline, it was still an enjoyable, quick read. Brown’s questioning nature and difficulties with his faith seemed sincere, particularly after he details his youth when he is passionately spiritual, giving rote answers at summer camp or Bible study. picky3

Plus, Brown’s style is pretty recognizable, so much so that when I stumbled across Darth Vader and Son, I instantly knew it was the same artist, even before the name clicked. And I must say, even though I’ve never watched Star Wars, it’s pretty brilliant.


A Matter of Life is on sale for $7.50 for the print copy or $5.99 for digital through September 27. Add it to your Goodreads shelf.

  • Charlie

    I love the Star Wars ones, they’re brilliant, and actually it’s made me more interested in A Matter of Life.

    • Aren’t they great?! For me to appreciate them without the Star Wars knowledge, I know Star Wars fans must get a kick out of them.

  • This wasn’t on my radar but now I’m intrigued! Looks poignant!

  • I also think this sounds fascinating. I work at a religious institution (albeit Jewish – but really, it’s kind of all the same) and think this would make a great read – for me and for the people here.

    • Ha! Yes, exactly re: all the same. And crises of faith are crises of faith.