Friday, March 30, 2012

The Good Father-Diane Chamberlain

The Good Father

Diane Chamberlain

Mira, Apr 247 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9780778313465

In Carolina Beach, North Carolina, twenty-three year old Travis Brown is a single dad raising his four year old daughter Bella alone; as he has since her birth. Desperate to bring in some needed income since the dearth of construction jobs in the area, he takes on a risky illegal job in Raleigh; leaving Bella with thirtyish Erin, whose baby daughter recently died in an accident.

Not far away, Bella’s mother Robin regrets her decision four years ago. She struggles with adapting to being the fiancĂ©e of charismatic Dale running for the mayor of Beaufort. Robin, Travis, and Bella each in their own way focus on what they respectively believe is the best for the toddler; not grasping by doing so they feel a bit better about themselves.

Rotating perspective between the three prime adults, The Good Father is an engaging character study as the trio want to do what is best to the child who ties them together. Readers learn the past and present and future hopes of the prime trio (and to a lesser degree game-maker Mike) as each is fully developed with doubts and trepidations but encouraged by Bella to be better than they think they can be. Although the ending is over the top of Mount Mitchell, fans will agree “nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina …” (Carolina In The Morning by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn) with Diane Chamberlain as our hostess.

Harriet Klausner

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