Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Good Father

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Pages: 368

ISBN-10: 0778313468

ISBN-13: 978-0778313465

Format: Kindle ebook (ARC)

Publisher: Harlequin

Publication Date: April 24, 2012

First Line: “It was nine-forty when I woke up in the back of the van."

Synopsis: When Travis was 19 years old he made a decision that would change his life -- to raise his newborn daughter on his own.  Instead of heading to university and partying with his friends Travis spent his days changing diapers and caring for his daughter, Bella.  She is the light of his life and he has never regretted his decision.

When Travis suddenly finds himself without a job, family support or a home he knows that he will have to make some drastic decisions.  When he is offered a job in Raleigh that will turn things around he jumps at the chance.  But the job is not what he was expecting.  It's a one-time illegal job that promises money and no negative repercussions.  Now Travis has a choice.  Does he do the job in order to help secure a home and food on the table even if it means he might lose his daughter forever?

Erin is a young woman who has endured every mother's worst nightmare.  When she befriends Travis and Bella in a local coffee shop she begins to heal a little from her devastating loss.  Unfortunately she soon finds herself tangled in Travis' problems.

Robin has had a tumultuous four years but has her life on track and a wedding to an influential and charismatic young man in her future.   Though she has barely thought about the little girl that she walked away from four years ago she has no idea that her life is about to dramatically change.

The story is told from these three very distinct points of view culminating in various plot twists and a very tense and exciting ending.

My Thoughts:  "The Good Father" is a compelling and exciting read that tugs at your emotions throughout the book.  Everything from sadness, loss, anger, betrayal, fear, joy, unconditional parental love ... it's an emotional rollercoaster as you follow the lives of the three main characters, Travis, Erin and Robin.

I really enjoyed the fact that the story was told from the viewpoint of the three main characters.  Going from viewpoint to viewpoint helped to keep up the momentum of the story while divulging important facts in a deliciously slow and deliberate way. 

This story was character driven but also plot driven which, in my vast reading, is a rare find indeed.  The characters are so honestly written that they are believable and relatable to the reader.   Each of the three main characters have their own issues and demons to face before they will be able to move on with their lives.  At the same time the plot is almost non-stop giving the reader little tidbits of insight into the three storylines and how they converge into the ending.

The story deals with multiple subjects in an interesting way that isn't bogged down with too much detail.  Some of the subjects are: teen pregnancy, adoption, elitism, homelessness, loss of a child.  These are pretty heavy issues to deal with but the author does so in a way that is compelling, engaging and truly heart-felt.

It's hard to believe that this is the first book that I've read from this author.  Ms Chamberlain writes a gripping and, at times, emotional read filled with flawed characters that I loved to root for.  I am excited to read more from this author.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Thanks go out to the publisher Harlequin Books, via NetGalley, for providing me with this Advanced Digital Reading Copy, at no cost to me, for my honest review.

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