BookBrowse Reviews The Good Father by Noah Hawley

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The Good Father

A Novel

by Noah Hawley

The Good Father by Noah Hawley X
The Good Father by Noah Hawley
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2013, 320 pages

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The story of a guilt-ridden father who struggles to find meaning in his son's actions

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).

Some readers were affected by the subject matter on a very personal level:
As a child of divorce myself, I could really relate to the issues about how parents think they are there for a child, when really they are not. Hawley weaves interesting historical profiles through the story, which add insight into the life of the child. He definitely knows how to generate suspense that propels through this sad tale (Anita P). Beautifully written; when it was over I cried and hugged my children (Rebecca G). We all look for someone or something to blame when a horrible event takes place. Usually the answer is close to home. This is a book worth reading (JW). Hawley gives us great insight into a situation none of us ever want to find ourselves in (Debbie M). How to be a father, do the right things, and be there for your family - [it] is intense and emotional. This is a very good psychological novel (Dawn C).

While others were drawn to Hawley's realistic characters:
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 (Cynthia C). The main character is very sympathetic and the story is engaging (Jinny K). Whether or not you are a parent, you can easily identify with the family (Margaret M).

However, a few people found room for improvement:
The plot is compelling, the father character well-developed and the story authentic. My only complaint is that there were too many medical analogies (JW). Though the writing was fluid, I found details regarding other young assassins interesting but unnecessary for moving the story along (Iris F).

But the majority of reviewers were as enthusiastic as Elinor M from Roswell, New Mexico:
This is definitely a novel that captures your interest from the start. Hawley exhibits a remarkable writing style that clearly places the reader in the mind of both father and son... The Good Father is an excellent book club choice that will inspire spirited discussions. Book club member or not, Hawley's work is a gripping narrative of a father/son relationship. It has my wholehearted recommendation.

Who should read this book?
The Good Father will satisfy many readers: lovers of mystery, or of legal drama, or those who simply enjoy a good story of human nature (Eloise F). I think book discussion groups will appreciate this book, as it will provoke interesting discussions about divorce, child custody and new families (Lori E). This book is a great read for anyone but a must for every parent (Rebecca G).

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in April 2012, and has been updated for the January 2013 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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