Father Figure by James J. Cudney
Name: Father Figure
Author: James J. Cudney
Genre: Contemporary fiction, family drama
Publishing date: April 3, 2018
My rating: 4.75/5 stars
*NOTE: I am very thankful to the author James J. Cudney for sending me this book as a review copy. However, this does not at all hinder my honest opinions regarding the book. This is a spoiler-free review. All opinions are solely mine.
Two youngsters. Two struggling souls. One trying to unearth, one trying to hide. Both perplexed, let down, trying to rise.
How better to introduce this amazing book which deals with so much of mystery and misery?!
I absolutely LOVED reading Father Figure by James J. Cudney. It was such a roller coaster ride. I could feel the words coming out to express the emotions the characters were going through. While reading, I’ve felt angry, happy, hopeful, enthusiastic, and what not! Isn’t that the trait of a good book? It makes you dive in!
Father Figure by James J. Cudney is divided into two stories (to know why, read it!). Both the stories are set in different time periods.
One story revolves around the young adult girl named ‘Amalia Graeme’ and it is set in 1984 (Mississippi). Amalia is a lively chirpy girl who is not treated like a daughter should be treated by her mother. Her mother Janet Graeme has never loved Amalia and has only considered her to be an inescapable liability. She expects her daughter to do all the housework and never go out of the house to enjoy and explore her life. Amalia has never been taught about ‘adulting’ and has not even been given any proper guidance or life-saving advices. At least, not in the right manner.
Not only this, Amalia is exposed to domestic violence. Her mother doesn’t even wince while sticking hot pans on Amalia’s arms if Amalia isn’t wearing the ‘right kind’ of clothing. Amalia is left in a state of fog and delusion. She doesn’t know about things people her age normally do. She struggles to live a better life and hopes to be able to find one when she gets to Woodland College. However, the college life seems to be a very bumpy ride for Amalia.
Amalia has a very difficult life, at least for a long time. She is distressed as every time, instead of being able to rise from pathetic situations, she gets trapped in worse webs.
However, there is one person who loves and cares for Amalia dearly- her father Peter Graeme. Peter is a kind-hearted man who certainly knows everything about how his daughter is treated by her mother but, the most he can do is comfort her.
The second story is set in 2005 (New York) and it revolves around the life of a young adult girl Brianna Porter who is desirous of achieving freedom in every aspect of life which involves freedom of knowing who her father is. She is raised by a single mother named Molly. Molly has always loved her daughter dearly. Brianna has always been provided with the best of things even when her mother had budget constraints to cope up with. Despite having everything she could want, Brianna seems to be restless for one thing. She ardently wants to know who her father was/is. Apparently, Molly had been too great at hiding truths from her daughter which included the revelation of who Brianna’s father was.
Brianna is a girl who has a complex life. She is trying to figure out her gender preference, trying to solve the mystery regarding her father, and also trying to convince her mom to let her go to Woodland College with Shanelle- her best soulmate.
In Brianna’s case, she is trying to know her father and she dreams of receiving the fatherly affection from him just like all the other girls of her age do.
There is so much going on in this book! The only point of criticism I could think of is that sometimes, some tiny parts of the book seemed to be drifting away from the main storyline. That’s literally all I have to point out!
Every chapter turns things upside-down for the characters. If you’re somebody who loves fast-paced novels, Father Figure is perfect for you! I remember having goosebumps at the end of mostly all the chapters. And oh dear, I was out of my mind when the book finished! I kept thinking about it all the time!
Also, don’t you find the cover appealing, too? I love how there are two paths which according to me, symbolize the existence of two choices before the characters especially Amalia. She always had two choices in front of her.
My favourite quotes from the book:
“You never know a person until you see them at their worst.”
“If you keep letting the unknown mysteries of the past color every aspect of your present, you’ll wake up one day in the future with nothing but regret over lost time.”
Honestly, this book has encouraged me to read James’ other book ‘Watching Glass Shatter’, too!
You can follow James J. Cudney on his blog, too.
Have you already read this book? Or are you planning to? Make sure to let me know in the comments section below!
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