Monday, October 7, 2013

The Good Father

In Diane Chamberlain’s The Good Father, Travis is a 23-year old single dad raising his beloved 4-year old daughter, Bella, alone in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. When life unexpectedly leaves him homeless and unemployed, he desperately searches for the best way to provide for his child. Desperate for a solution he relies on the connections of a new friend and her almost too good to be true promises of a construction job and day care for Bella and relocates to Raleigh in hopes of a better future, but all turns out to not be as promised and he’s faced with a heart-wrenching decision which could change his and Bella’s life overnight.

The Good Father was an easy, though slow read for me. This is the first book I’ve read from this author, and while I enjoyed the story and likeable characters, I felt there wasn’t enough action or compelling drama to make me want to turn those pages faster. The story chapters alternate between three different points of view, Travis, the young dad desperate and scared; Robin, Bella’s birth mother who gave her up but is now suddenly overwhelmed with thoughts about her daughter; and Erin, a young woman who befriends Travis and Bella, that is dealing with the heartache and loss of her own young daughter, Carolyn.

Despite the alternating chapters, Travis is by far the heart of the story and I believed in both his love for his daughter as well as the naivetĂ© that led him to the decision he now faces; those blinders that we all put on when we believe something, because we want it or need it so much that we’re willing to turn a blind eye to all rational thought that says if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true. Notwithstanding the book's pace, the author does do a good job in conveying the heartache, loss, grief and fear each main characters faces as they deal with their own set of personal demons; and brings about a satisfying resolution to the struggles faced by each.