Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Dad: A Novel by Steven Manchester (Book Review)

Dad by Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: Sept 14, 2021
Format: eBook - 1520 KB / 336 pages
               Hardcover - 336 pages
               Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 978-1611883084
BNID: 978-1945839535
Genre: Father & Son Family Relationships / Literary Fiction

Buy The Book: (Pre-Order: Pub Date 9/14/2021)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

Three generations of dads, playing traditional roles in each other's lives, arrive simultaneously at significant crossroads. The decisions they make and the actions they take will directly - and eternally - affect each other. 

After a life of hard work and raising children, Robert is enjoying his well-deserved retirement when he discovers that he has an illness he might not be able to beat. At 19, Jonah is sprinting across the threshold of adulthood when he learns, stunningly, that he's going to become a father. And Oliver - Robert's son and Jonah's dad - has entered middle age and is paying its demanding price. While reconciling the time and effort it has taken him to reach an unfulfilling career and an even less satisfying marriage, he realizes that it's imperative that he keep it all together for the two men who mean everything to him. 

When different perspectives lead to misunderstandings that remain unspoken - sometimes for years - it takes great strength and even more love to travel beyond the resentment. Dad: A Novel chronicles the sacred legacy of fatherhood.

My Book Review:

Every once in a while an author comes along who writes novels that are so powerfully compelling, poignant, and thought provoking, that they pull at the heartstrings and stir the soul. For me, that author is Steven Manchester and his latest novel, Dad.

Dad is a wonderful story about the complicated dynamics of father/son family relationships that will simply pull at your emotional heartstrings. Author Steven Manchester weaves a richly descriptive tale that follows the emotional journey of the legacy of fatherhood experienced at different stages of life that spans three generations of Earle men: grandfather Robert, son Oliver, and grandson Jonah. The Earles' journey is filled with a multi-layered complexity filled with humor, animosity, unresolved dysfunctional father/son issues, regrets, healing of old wounds, new life experiences, and an emotional second chance to renew the bonds between fathers and sons. 

Grandfather Robert is seventy-two and enjoying the fruits of retirement, until he is diagnosed with a terminal disease. Robert wants to take stock of his life, and find a way to make up for all the lost time he squandered by putting other people before his own son Oliver. 

Son Oliver is struggling through a middle-life crisis, always worrying about his marriage, job, his relationship with his father Robert, and his parenting skills with daughter Layla and son Jonah. His father's terminal prognosis prompts Oliver to find a way to fight for his marriage, change his parental relationship with his kids (especially Jonah), let go of old resentments, and get the father-son relationship that he always wanted with his Dad before he passes away. 

Grandson Jonah is nineteen and living a carefree lifestyle living in his parents' basement, and has grown up addicted to playing video games. He's in his first year of college and is still undecided on a major, he feels lost and doesn't want to study, he unrealistically fantasizes that he can make a career out of competitive video gaming e-sports. All that changes when his girlfriend Marissa tells him that she's pregnant, and suddenly he is faced with a life-changing event: becoming a grownup with upcoming responsibilities. 

The reader will be easily captivated and drawn into the Earles' sentimental and touchingly realistic journey. The author does a wonderful job of intertwining the Earles' father/son relationships in an alternating third person narrative that delves into their complex pasts with the difficulties that they face in their present lives. You can't help but get swept away and experience the full gamut of emotions as the Earles face a crossroad in their lives as they hash out their unresolved dysfunctional family dynamic, while considering the intense and difficult choices of how to deal with their current life issues. Grandfather Robert is the catalyst that brings the Earle men together with his wisdom, tough love, and humor. Funny how father/son relationships ebb and flow as life events can bring family members together with a mending and bonding of relationships with an added touch of heart. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I really loved that author Steven Manchester provides the reader with a fresh breath of air with his amazing story that delves into the not that often written about dynamic of father/son relationships. Kudos on an beautifully poignant story. 

Dad is an powerful and compelling story written from the heart. It is a must read that will make you ponder your own family dynamic (especially the father/son relationships), stir your soul, and resonate with you for a very long time.


About The Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve MonthsThe Rockin' ChairPressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, AshesThe Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; and the multi-award winning novels, Goodnight Brian and The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Apple iBooks

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