Author: Diane Chamberlain
The Good Father is ultimately more than the story of one father. It is the story of parenting and family relationships in all of the families involved.
We have three different characters giving their stories so we get to know them a lot better than the people they are interacting with which means we understand their motives a lot better than those around them.
The Good Father, on the surface, is the story of Travis and Bella. We come in when Bella is four and their circumstances have taken a drastic turn. Ever since fighting for her as a newborn Travis has made sure he puts her first, always looking out for her best interests and trying to do his best by her which only makes it more difficult to watch his life spiral out of control.
As parents we all want to do what’s best for our children and as individuals that means that quite often we have different perspectives and ideas on what that is. That plays quite a part in this story and is what expands it to more than just the story of Travis and Bella. It is also the story of Robin and her family and her in-laws, and of Erin.
We all parent in our own way, we all prioritise in our own way and we ALL make mistakes. We also all react to situations differently and take different lessons from the same situations.
The book begins in the middle really which did take some getting my head around. Chapter One begins one morning with Travis and Bella a little down on their luck. Chapter Two then goes back 6 weeks to the point when things started to change course and from there we travel forwards to chapter one and beyond. It took a little getting my head around but you knew where the story was headed, it was a heartbreaking journey to get there though and then as it continued you were torn between empathy and ‘what on earth is he thinking?’
As we travel through the stories of Travis, Erin and Robin we start to see how they all come together, we also see the events that lead them to the places we find them and give us a little more understanding of the decisions they make.
The characters are vivid and colourful and all of the main ones have characteristics that will endear them to you. Travis is just gorgeous, actually apparently he really is, he is the doting father who will do anything for his daughter; the teen who gave up everything to devote himself to being the best father he could be.
Bella, she is just adorable and so real. But what precocious four year old doesn’t make you want to wrap them up and snuggle them tight.
Erin is a kindly, compassionate customer in a coffee shop at first glance but the further we travel through her narrative the more we discover of her. But there isn’t much else I can say about her without spoilers; so I might leave her here.
Robin, it takes a while to place her in the story. She seems miles away and uninvolved to begin with but you know that she has a part to play.
These stories follow their own courses, building to that convergence where you know what could happen but until you get there you can’t know just how it will play out. And I can tell you now that sure wasn’t what I thought was going to happen!
Intriguing, Engaging and Heartbreaking – this is one that will draw you in and make you thankful for what you have, and maybe even question what you would do in the shoes of any one of these characters.
Diane Chamberlain hooked me once again. All evening plans required shelving so that I could find out what happened to the beautiful Bella and her devoted dad Travis.