The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
Published by Mira, an imprint of Harlequin
Review copy provided by the publisher
When Travis Brown was nineteen years old, he made a decision that would change his life: he chose to be a single father to his daughter, Bella, even though he knew it would be the most difficult thing he would ever do. Now Bella is four years old, Travis has just lost his mother, his home, and his job, and he is starting to realize that life can get a lot worse before it gets better. He and Bella are living in his van when he is offered a miracle of a job, so he travels to Raleigh to take advantage of the offer. Unfortunately, what he finds when he gets there is not an actual job, just an opportunity to participate in some criminal activity and make a bunch of cash after doing so. With Bella in mind, Travis knows he must do something to give her food and shelter, so he makes a choice that sends him on a desperate, spiraling path downwards.
I liked this book. I didn’t love it, but I read it in two sittings and I felt compelled to keep reading and to find out what would happen to Travis, Bella, and the other characters involved. Travis was an incredibly naive character, and for that reason I had a difficult time connecting with him. I didn’t understand how he could miss clues about the people he was involved with that were seemingly so obvious to the reader – such as the fact that this “job” was not actual employment and that the woman who got it for him was up to no good. But other than that, it was clear that he had only the best of intentions for his daughter and wanted desperately to do the right things so she would have a happy and secure life.
The thing about this novel is that it was incredibly predictable, and ended in the most obviously sappy way possible, but I still appreciated the fact that Chamberlain gave me the exact ending I had been hoping for the entire time I was reading it. This kind of novel isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a sweet story that doesn’t make you work too hard, The Good Father would be a nice choice.