Father of the Rain
offers a portrait of an alcoholic parent from the viewpoint of his daughter, Daley. The story begins when Daley is 11, right before her parents' divorce, and follows her until her father's death 25 years later. Both a warning and a tribute to the importance of the relationship between a father and daughter, this novel is a heart-wrenching depiction of the painful influence of this particular parent on a vulnerable child under his care.
This book feels very personal. We see everything from the viewpoint of Daley. She hides the true extent of her father's destructive lifestyle from her mother, but of course is angry at her mother for not protecting her. She hides all of her true thoughts and feelings in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to avoid triggering her father's temper and harsh ridicule.
King does a great job...
Beyond the Book
When you began your new novel, Father of the Rain, what was the initial idea or image that got the story rolling?
I think it started with the puppy, a father buying his daughter a puppy that she wouldn't be able to keep because she knew, though he didn't, that she would be moving out of the house with her mother in a week. And her choice of the ugliest puppy, so that it wouldn't be even harder to leave. Once I got the puppy in the car, the rest of the first chapter came quickly: the mother with the group of city kids in the pool, the father scheming to sabotage the moment in some way, and the daughter trying to...