Warning: May contain spoilers!
I love the way this book was written. Granted, it is one of those books that pulls on the heart strings, but even through all the emotion, it’s hard to not appreciate the things that set this book apart from others.
The protagonist is a man in his 40’s whose facing the trauma of losing his father to cancer. Something that could happen to anybody and does happen to a lot of people everyday – unfortunately. We know that he lives down south while his family live in Yorkshire, we know he’s a journalist (despite his father wanting him to follow his lead and become a medical doctor) and we know he’s married with children. But that’s all we know about him as an adult.
Instead we spend the 200-and-odd-pages, learning about his father and their lives together growing up. From annoying habits he hated as a child, to vacations they took and speculation about him having an affair, there’s no part of his father and their relationship our protagonist doesn’t share with us.
Admittedly, it makes you think about things you probably don’t want to think about – I probably called to make sure my dad was okay a good three times this week – but it’s such a powerful piece of literature, that it’s hard to be mad at it.
I definitely recommend this book for anybody looking to delve deep into somebody’s mind and thought patterns. The most interesting thing I think, is that you find yourself becoming more invested and more connected to the father than the protagonist – which I don’t think you find very often. A must read, I’d say.
Next up: We’re all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.