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.
Thursday night was pizza night in the Allen household. My last appointment of the day was scheduled for eleven a.m., and at three o'clock I would ride the train home to Westport, thumbing through patient charts and returning phone calls. I liked to watch the city recede, the brick buildings of the Bronx falling away on the side of the tracks. Trees sprang up slowly, sunlight bursting forth in triumph, like cheers at the end of a long, oppressive regime. The canyon became a valley. The valley became a field. Riding the train I felt myself expand, as if I had escaped a fate I thought inevitable. It was odd to me, having grown up in New York City, a child of concrete and asphalt. But over the decades I had found the right angles and constant siren blare to be crushing. So ten years earlier I had moved my family to Westport, Connecticut, where we became a suburban family with suburban family hopes and dreams.
I was a rheumatologist - the chief of rheumatology at Columbia ...
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).
Full Review (1146 words).
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 ...
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