I did, although I wanted Bella back right then. Yeah, I was glad she was so happy on Erin’s lap and all that, but I wanted to hold her right now. I’d scare her though–holding her too tight the way I’d squashed her hand when we walked across the parking lot. It was better this way.
Travis Brown is trying to do right by his 4 year old daughter, Bella. Unable to give her up for adoption, as requested by Bella’s mother, Robin, Travis has raised her on his own, with help from his mother. A tragic fire destroys almost all of his possessions and takes his mother, and Travis finds it increasingly difficult to find construction work due to the economy. He learns of a potential job from a new neighbor, but it turns out to be not quite what she described, and while it could be good money, it can also put both he and Bella in danger. Travis decides to leave Bella with a seemingly nice woman he meets at a coffee shop. Erin has her own problems, having lost her own daughter in a freak accident on a pier, but finds Bella might be just what she needs to heal.
The Good Father is told from three points of view: Travis, Robin and Erin, all in first person. In the beginning of the novel this is a bit confusing but as the characters are fleshed out becomes easier to follow. We follow Travis as his situation goes from bad to worse, then switch to Robin, who is now engaged to the son of a mayor, groomed to become a very public figure. But her future sister-in-law’s own teenage pregnancy brings back memories of Travis and feelings about her own baby who she never met. And Erin has moved out of her house, needing time away from her husband who doesn’t seem to understand her grief, preferring to turn to an online grief support group.
While the title appears to refer to Travis, Robin’s father also fits the theme. Born with the same heart condition that killed her mother at a young age, Robin’s father is overprotective, reminding her of the “peace and calm” needed to keep her heart from going into overdrive. He disapproves of her relationship with Travis, who he sees as beneath them, and when Bella is born makes great strides to keep them apart.
The Good Father has a great mix of character and plot. The main characters – including Bella – are well drawn and sympathetic, and the reader can see things that the characters can’t, which can be frustrating at times (I know I’m not the only one who’s ever yelled at a character in a book), but also contributes to the story’s enjoyment. The plot starts out a little slow but picks up and the climax turns it into a book you can’t put down.
We have one copy to share with one of our readers. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win (US/Canada only). We’ll announce the winner in our giveaway column on June 6th.