From award-winning, bestselling author Wayne Grady comes The Good Father, his first contemporary novel, which comically and tragically reckons with a father and daughter's estrangement, the failures brought on by hubris, the limits of perception and the price we pay for second chances.
Every story has two sides, two perspectives. And when it comes to a relationship between a daughter and her father, separated first by divorce and then by both generational gaps and physical and emotional distance, those perspectives can colossally diverge.
Such is the case with Harry Bowes and his only daughter, Daphne. Harry is a mild mannered journalist turned teacher turned wine merchant who is content to putter around his home in Toronto eating things straight out of the fridge that both his doctor and his second wife, Elinor, would disapprove of, and procrastinate calling his daughter even though he senses something is amiss. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Daphne seems intent on a course of nihilism, having gone from being a loving girl to a top student to a hostile young woman who is determined to destroy her life and relationships by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. When a catastrophic event wrenches them out of their states, one of stasis and one of chaos, Harry and Daphne are forced to examine the ways in which their self-absorption has eroded their connection and discover whether a family's bond is truly ironclad or if their damage is irreparable.
Told in alternating perspectives, The Good Father delivers a deeply satisfying and layered novel of love, perception, family and domesticity. Propelled by regret, compassion, frustration and comfort, this novel gives us Wayne Grady at the height of his powers.
WAYNE GRADY is the award-winning author of more than a dozen works of nonfiction and is also one of Canada's top literary translators. He is also the author of two novels, Up From Freedom and Emancipation Day, a national bestseller that won the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Grady lives in Kingston, Ontario, with his wife, the novelist and creative nonfiction writer, Merilyn Simonds.
"A study in imperfect love and staggeringly fateful choices, the novel impresses because the failures, misunderstandings and consequences begin with such ordinary thoughts and actions. Its tragedies originate in the everyday—and with that, Grady ably illustrates the vulnerabilities of merely being alive." —Toronto Star
"Readers with a predilection for touching, even heartbreaking, plots served up with a good measure of satire and acerbic one-liners will be satiated by the latest from Wayne Grady. . . . The Good Father illuminates the misdeeds, miscommunication, and regrets in the relationships that define us in the 21st Century. . . . Reading Wayne Grady's The Good Father . . . is time well spent." —The Ormsby Review
"Every parent, every daughter and son will want to read this book. Does this include all readers? I hope so. The Good Father is a wonder, heart-breaking and heart-mending at the same time, beautifully rendered in Wayne Grady's inimitable, luminous style. Contemporary in its concerns but eternal in its laments and forgiveness, this is a novel to treasure. It affirms page after page with confidence and wisdom that our lives matter, that family matters, even though we wound those we love in ways that may not heal." —Lorna Crozier, author of Through the Garden
"The Good Father is a powerful and unsentimental look at the relationship between a father and his daughter. Wayne Grady has expressed what is often inexpressible in this beautiful and moving novel." —Helen Humphreys, author of Rabbit Foot Bill
"The Good Father chronicles the entwined heartbreak of father and daughter: the words unsaid, the hurts kept hidden, and love's missed chances. A tale of redemption told with intelligence, compassion and deep tenderness." —Kerri Sakamoto, author of Floating City
"If only all of us, children and parents, could have this conversation. A tender novel that tackles addiction, betrayal and the ups and downs of parenthood. Thought-provoking and wise." —Susan Swan, author of The Dead Celebrities Club
"The Good Father is a book of real wisdom and profound heart. It is also gripping, narratively and emotionally, as we track a father and daughter’s stumbling progress through disappointment, setback and near tragedy, to the book's magical final moments of reconciliation and redemption. Grady's latest work is a note-perfect evocation of that most challenging aspect of parenting, where our deepest sense of love and obligation is twinned with the feeling of being utterly lost. Parents and children have no idea how and where they will ultimately find each other. But in this elegant and heartfelt novel, Grady shows us that it does yet happen." —Timothy Taylor, author of The Rule of Stephens
"The Good Father poses a terrifying question: What happens when a man's escape hatch becomes the trapdoor in his daughter's childhood? The answer is a thing of wonder—a riveting, stay-up-late read that doubles as a deeply moving treatise on familial love." —Alissa York, author of The Naturalist