Book Review | The Good Father
Title: The Good Father
Author: Diane Chamberlain
About the Book:
Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown had to make a life changing decision. While his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home raising his newborn daughter on his own – changing diapers and working to keep food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life – the reason behind every move he makes – and so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.
But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble…
Bestselling author of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, The Midwife’s Confession, and The Lies We Told, Diane Chamberlain, returns with her latest and most gripping novel to date, THE GOOD FATHER (Harlequin MIRA; April 24, 2012; $14.95 U.S./$17.95 CAN.), showing the great lengths a father will go to provide for his little girl.
Just when Travis is at a loss for solutions, a job in Raleigh opens up with the power to change their situation. It has to. But upon arriving in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.
With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake. Even if it means he might lose her.
Diane Chamberlain has quickly become one of my favourite authors. Her writing style reminds of Jodi Picoult with the way she uses multiple narrators. In fact, I’d even say that I prefer Diane Chamberlain of Jodi Picoult. That’s saying something about how much I love Ms. Chamberlain’s books because Jodi Picoult has always been one of my favourite authors.
I read The Good Father at lightning speed even though it was 347 pages long. It’s one of those books that you cannot put down and I even found myself thinking about it during the day wondering what was going to happen to the characters. Now that I’ve finished reading it, it’s still with me and it’s one I would read again a second time.
The story follows Travis, a young single dad, and his little girl, Bella. I really felt for Travis. He had such a hard life with his dad dying when he was young, growing up poor and then raising a daughter on his own. Then his mother died in a house fire and he was in dire straits….quite literally. I could feel his worry about not having enough for him and his daughter to eat and not having a place to live. The stress of not having a job and living in a terrible economy really took its toll on Travis and I thought Diane Chamberlain was exceptional at conveying this.
Some of Travis’s choices I certainly did not agree with, but I understood where he was coming from. Perhaps if it was me in the same situation, I might have done the same thing. He was doing what he had to in order to survive. I found many of the situations he found himself in immensely stressful. Even reading it, I was holding my breath and wondering what was going to happen. It just goes to show you that good people can find themselves in bad situations.
The other main character, Erin, lost her daughter in a terrible accident and has never recovered. She’s an empty shell of what she once was and is consumed physically, mentally and emotionally by the pain of her loss. It’s her entire life. I enjoyed seeing Erin’s interactions with Bella and watching her healing unfold throughout the pages of the book. Her loss was so raw and painful and my heart really went out to her. I could not even imagine what she went through.
The other person we meet in the book is Robin, Bella’s biological mother and Travis’s ex-girlfriend. We learn the reasons why she gave up Bella and how she came to realize that she missed the daughter she never got to meet.
All three characters eventually become intertwined as the story unfolds. This is a book that is about the characters, but it also has a fast moving plot too. If you are looking for a summer read, pick up this book. You won’t be able to put it down once you start!
I tried to smile. “No way,” I said, “It’s not my thing.” Why’d I even go there? I worried she could see how I was shaking today and think I was using something. Suddenly, I knew how to handle the next few minutes. “I’ve got another interview today,” I said.
“Great! You found something on Craigslist?”
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*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*