As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons - hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin.
Daniel Allen has always been a good kid - a decent student, popular - but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.
Told alternately from the point of view of the guilt-ridden, determined father and his meandering, ruminative son, The Good Father is a powerfully emotional page-turner that keeps one guessing until the very end. This is an absorbing and honest novel about the responsibilities - and limitations - of being a parent and our capacity to provide our children with unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation.
With 23 out of 24 reviewers rating it 4 or 5 stars, Noah Hawley's The Good Father is a top pick among BookBrowse readers! Here's what they have to say:
I used to think it was overkill to describe any product, book, or movie with a bunch of grandiose adjectives, but The Good Father deserves them. Spellbinding, engaging, thought-provoking, riveting, mesmerizing, addicting, intriguing! Noah Hawley's writing is fluid and descriptive, his characters are enriching, and the plot and scenery are alluring... (Kimberly B). A book that pulled me in from the first page, The Good Father is a work that is both wholly mesmerizing and utterly disturbing (Beth K). Since finishing, I've spent some time reflecting on the subject; it's not one you soon forget. Bordering on profound; definitely captivating (Avid). This book was so well paced, well researched, and well written that I will read anything that Hawley ever writes again... What a treat this was (Erica M). (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
This story of guilt and love by Hawley, both a novelist and a screenwriter/producer (he was responsible for Bones), should do especially well with book clubs.
Starred Review... Hawley's complicated protagonist is a fully fathomed and beautifully realized character whose emotional growth never slows a narrative that races toward a satisfying and touching conclusion.
The novel ultimately becomes as much about a father's quest for meaning and understanding as about a son's political and social alienation - and Hawley delivers on the complex psychology of father-son relationships.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by avid Worth reading A good psychological study of a dad whose son is accused of killing a popular political figure. It kept me reading, although it didn't really go in the direction I was expecting. Since finishing, I've really spent some time reflecting on the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Tillie H. (Baltimore, MD) Compelling This is a compelling novel about a father whose son has been accused of murdering the next president. The book is very well written and shows how the father believes in the son's innocence no matter what the media says. His journey through process... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jinny K. (Fremont, CA) The Good Father Compelling and tragic tale of a devoted father's quest to find the answer to his son's inexplicable murderous act. He traces his son's actions over the last few years, agonizes over every moment of his childhood and researches murders of public... Read More
Rated of 5
by Elinor M. (Roswell, NM) The Good Father This is definitely a novel that captures your interest from the start. Hawley exhibits a remarkable style of writing that places the reader clearly in the mind of both father and son. One can feel the tug of guilt in the father as his relentless... Read More
Rated of 5
by Cynthia C. (Peekskill, NY) The Good Father by Noah Hawley I was not able to put this book down. A plot straight out of today's headlines with well-drawn characters, it is an intense read, perfect for book club discussions. Highly recommended!
Rated of 5
by Dawn C. (Meridian, ID) The Good Father by Noah Hawley Dr. Paul Allen is successful with patients, and seems to have an ideal life, father of twins with a second wife, and a son from his first marriage, Daniel. Daniel has issues and even changed his name. Dr. Paul finds out that his son is accused of... Read More
Parents of young adults who are accused of murder are confronted with an intense emotional minefield and have, in many cases, reported experiencing feelings ranging from guilt and shame to horror and despair. Susan Klebold, whose son Dylan, alongside classmate Eric Harris, carried out the massacre of 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999 has stated, "For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused... Dylan changed everything I believed about myself, about God, about family, and about love." Susan Klebold's description of raising her son, how she learned about the atrocities perpetrated by her offspring, and her intense and crippling battle with depression and guilt in the aftermath, make the possibility of a normal parent having to deal with an unexpected terror frighteningly real. She describes her extreme humiliation, noting that in one newspaper survey, "83 percent of respondents said that the parents' failure to teach Dylan and Eric proper values played a major part in the Columbine killings" and that "our elected officials stated publicly...
Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis - a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.
In this immensely powerful, lyrical and skillfully narrated novel, set in southern Italy, nine year-old Michele discovers a secret so momentous, so terrible, that he darent tell anyone about it. Read an exclusive excerpt at BookBrowse today.
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A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...