The Good Father is an intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his 20-year-old son.
As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons - hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel.
In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin.
Daniel Allen has always been a good kid - a decent student, popular - but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.
Told alternately from the point of view of the guilt-ridden, determined father and his meandering, ruminative son, The Good Father is a powerfully emotional page-turner that keeps one guessing until the very end. This is an absorbing and honest novel about the responsibilities - and limitations - of being a parent and our capacity to provide our children with unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation.
“The father of a man who assassinates a presidential candidate tries to make sense of his son’s crime in Hawley’s gripping new novel.…With great skill, Hawley renders Dr. Allen’s treacherous emotional geography, from his shock and guilt to his growing sense that he knows far less about his son than he thought.…Hawley’s complicated protagonist is a fully fathomed and beautifully realized character whose emotional growth never slows a narrative that races toward a satisfying and touching conclusion.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The Good Father is hypnotic and haunting and I lost all track of time when I was reading it. Suddenly the day had become night and still I was engrossed in one father’s poignant story and Noah Hawley’s mesmeric tales of a long litany of assassins.” (Chris Bohjalian, author of The Night Strangers, The Double Bind, and Secrets of Eden)
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You'll make up reasons to drive
- evelyn t. burns
Started out compelling but lost steam in the middle