This blog is dedicated to the amazing staff at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Good Father by Noah Hawley, 2012, * * * *

Imagine your child was accused of a heinous crime.  How far would you go to find out the truth and protect him?  At what point would you start blaming yourself?  Noah Hawley's latest page turner, The Good Father examines this scenario and poses heartbreaking questions about parenting, love's limits, and good versus evil.  Told from the perspectives of both the determined, anguished father and his lost son, Hawley takes you deep into a family's history and unearths a tragic back story, while keeping the reader guessing about the son's culpability.  Dr. Paul Allen is a well respected man living a comfortable life with his second wife and their family when his world is blown apart by the news that his son Danny, from his first marriage, has murdered the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.  Paul strives to understand what has happened, refusing to entertain the idea that his son has carried out these acts. The narrative of The Good Father is shaped by Paul's obsessive need to understand how his remote but seemingly  normal child could join Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinckley on the roster of creepily unassuming American assasins.    It is also a  story of a young man on a quest for identity and meaning, and a father who can't face the truth that he was never quite the father his son needed. It makes you uncomfortable and gets you thinking that you may not know your own child.  The Good Father packs an emotional punch, not as a harrowing investigation of evil, a critique of gun violence in America, or a guide to good parenting,  but as an account of a father finally accepting his son, for better or worse. 

No comments:

Post a Comment