Monday, April 9, 2012

Review and a Winner! The Good Father by Noah Hawley

Author: Noah Hawley
Publisher-Format: ARC  Doubleday, 320 pages
Year of publication: 2012
Subject: father son relationships
Setting: New York, California
Genre: Literary Fiction
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Recommended? Absolutely - will be on my best of the year list.

In this intense psychological examination of parental angst, Noah Hawley helps us crawl immediately inside the mind and skin of Dr. Paul Allen, a noted diagnostician whose 20 year old son from a former marriage, and with whom he has not been in close contact for many years, is accused of killing a popular US Senator, considered a shoo-in to become the next president.

The father immediately goes into denial - NOT MY SON -- and sets out to prove his innocence.  But Hawley also gives the reader an eye-opening look into the mind and motivation of the son. The story alternates between the two points of view, portraying how the life-long separation has impacted both of them. The exquisite, aching prose shows us all the emotions each man is confronted with as they work through their ambivalence toward each other.  At the same time, we feel the strong inner struggle of the father as he tries to come to grips with the overwhelming evidence that his son did in fact kill another human being, and his disillusionment with his own inability to use his superb diagnostic skills to get to the WHY.

As the story marches forward, we are drawn in and cannot put it down.  Riding the roller-coaster of emotions leads to an inevitable ending that the reader can see coming, but which we are as reluctant to accept as the main character.  It's tightly plotted,  with intensely drawn characters.  The setting is almost incidental, but there is nothing extra in this one.  Every word is accurately and intentionally chosen to present us with a story any parent hopes will only ever be fiction.

So who are the lucky ones to win a copy of this fantastic read.

I've sent them an email with the good news, and they each have until midnite Friday nite (April 13th) to send me their mailing address.  If I don' t hear from them by then, I'll have to ask to pick another winner.

Many thanks to Doubleday for making these copies available.

1 comment:

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