Review: The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

 

Title: The Good Father

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Published: Mira April 2011

Synopsis: A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there’s no going back. Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe. But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble……. Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions. With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake.Even if it means he might lose her. Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from April 26 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy  {Courtesy Harlequin/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

Having recently enjoyed my first title by Diane Chamberlain, Secrets She Left Behind (for which a review is well overdue) I couldn’t resist the premise of The Good Father. Travis Brown is raising his four year old daughter Bella alone. It’s a sacrifice, but one he has never had any doubts about until tragedy leaves the pair broke and homeless. Desperate to provide for his daughter, Travis makes a difficult decision that has unforeseen consequences that may prove devastating.

Chamberlain apologetically tugs hard at the heart strings in The Good Father. Travis, only twenty three, has not had an easy time of it. His teenage romance with Bella’s mother ended badly and it wasn’t until Bella was born and he was approached to sign adoption papers that he was aware he had a daughter. The custody fight was bitter yet Travis prevailed, his only thought to love and provide for his newborn child. I really like that Chamberlain chose a male protagonist for the story, so often in women’s fiction it is the men who run from responsibility, in this instance the roles are reversed with Bella’s biological mother unable to face parenting the child. Travis has been doing the best he can but he is young and lacks resources so when tragedy strikes he doesn’t have a lot to fall back on. Love and determination, sadly, is not always enough to keep body and soul together and though Travis tries hard his desperation leads him to make some unwise decisions. Chamberlain provides realistic motivations for Travis’s mistakes, his youth, his pride and his unwavering love for his daughter all contributing to his predicament.
While Travis makes many mistakes, placing his faith in Erin proves not to be one of them. Erin, who is struggling with her own tragedy, inadvertently becomes caught up in the drama that unfolds for Travis and Bella. She is a very sympathetic character not only because of her personal history but also because of the situation she finds herself in. I can understand her motives and her inner conflict in choosing what the right thing to do is.
Bella’s biological mother, Robin, plays a part in the story. We discover her reasons for giving her baby up and Chamberlain ensures she has our sympathy. In the four years since Bella’s birth circumstances have changed dramatically for Robin, she is on the verge of marrying into a socially prominent family but the birth of her teenage sister-in-law-to-be’s baby has her reexamining her choices. When Robin was introduced in to the story I immediately formed an idea of where Chamberlain planned to take the plot but I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong and I enjoyed having my expectations subverted.
The three points of view in The Good Father provides a well rounded perspective of the plot. The novel has elements of suspense and romance but it is the emotion that Chamberlain evokes that carries it. You grow to feel strongly for these characters and want them to have what they need and want. The epilogue ensures closure which I always appreciate.

The Good Father is a story of three adults whose good intentions do not always coincide with good choices, or good outcomes. Heartwarming and emotional it’s a satisfying and engaging read that will left me eager to read more by Diane Chamberlain.

Available to Purchase

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Alternate Cover

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leeswammes
    May 03, 2012 @ 19:16:49

    That sounds like a great book! Not too predictable, which is good. I also like closure. One for the wishlist!

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  2. Michelle @ B&L (@mic_loves_lace)
    May 03, 2012 @ 19:20:43

    Great review! And I just saw Morgan’s Law is the previous but I’m not going to read because I haven’t finished the book yet.

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  3. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    May 03, 2012 @ 20:17:36

    Lovely review of what sounds like a very good story.

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  4. laurelrainsnow
    May 03, 2012 @ 21:26:38

    Great review, Shelleyrae. I have this book on my Kindle and can’t wait to read it. I’ve enjoyed all of Chamberlain’s books so far, but I’m really looking forward to this less-conventional twist on a familiar story. Thanks!

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  5. rachael johns
    May 03, 2012 @ 21:38:23

    Yay – I just bought this today, so glad you thought it was good 🙂

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  6. Mari @Bookworm with a View
    May 03, 2012 @ 22:34:48

    I read my first Chamberlain novel last fall and even had the opportunity to discuss her books with her via telephone.

    I enjoy stories told from different points of view and this one seems like a heartfelt story! Glad to see you liked it, it’s on my TBR list.

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  7. shelovestoread
    May 03, 2012 @ 23:54:00

    This sounds so good, its going onto my wishlist 🙂

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  8. hersundaykim
    May 04, 2012 @ 01:15:35

    This one sounds really good. I like that the main character is male because so often in stories like this it is a woman.

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