The Good FatherThe Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure whether it merits four or five stars, but only because it isn’t a great work of literature. The writing is fairly simple. But after abandoning Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend after 222 pages (of 658!), “great literature” wasn’t what I was looking for. The Good Father proves that not every tale must be told with brilliant prose in order to be great.

And make no mistake, The Good Father is one heck of a story! Actually, it deftly interweaves three different but related and equally compelling subplots. Each of the three characters (Travis, Robin and Erin) has absorbed his or her own share of tragedy, and consequently is about as touching as any fictional character can be. In a plainspoken, almost simplistic way, The Good Father shows us what anyone might be capable of under desperate circumstances—in other words, what it means to be human. We all like to think, “Oh, I would never do that.” But you never know until you are faced with the situation—whether it be lack of money, a life-or-death health condition, or the devastating loss of a child. The Good Father does a beautiful job of showing how these three ordinarily people flounder and nearly fall when life seemingly turns against them.

There were moments when I feared Ms. Chamberlain might veer into tired and trite territory, but thankfully she never does. Rather, The Good Father offers tried-and-true reminders about class and status, grief and healing, and the essence of enduring love. It’s a sweet yet gripping book that I couldn’t put down and highly recommend.

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