Father Figure by James J. Cudney
Poignant and gripping novel.
Blurb: “Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.
Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.
Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.
Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.”
This was a truly engaging read. Structured in alternative chapters, it presented the story of two young women living twenty years apart, one desperately trying to run away and forget her past, the other one eager to find answers about her past and her true sexuality.
Twenty years ago, Amalia suffered from the actions and words of an abusive mother. Her father tried to soften the pain, showing more understanding, but unfortunately not brave enough to stand up to his wife. He was the only person that comforted her in her young age. Still, she had to leave Brant and start a new life. Life plays with us often and it played big with Amelia too while she was in college. Instead of starting a new beautiful life, being happily in-love, she experienced a series of events that made her run away. What was supposed to be her way out proved to be another painful period. What did she do? She ran away and decided to keep the past buried. Was this the best decision? Did she manage to finally be happy and live a careless life? Was love again in the cards for her? The future will show.
Now, twenty years later, Brianna was about to start college and turning 18 made her wish to find out who her father is stronger. She was at a point in life where she wanted to find answers about herself too, including her true sexuality. She felt the need to find out more about her family. Do we really need to know where we come from to know who we are?
Humorous at times, this beautifully written and perfectly paced story deals with many themes (aggressive behaviors, physical and emotional abuse, family issues, sexuality, etc) that are far from being happy, but are definitely a part of the real life.
The characters are strong, well-described, and unique. The twists and turns, with a dash of mystery, are often unexpected. A real page-turner and another proof that the author is one of my favorites.
“She can never know the truth. I'm not even sure I know the whole truth. I promise you with all my heart that I'll keep the past buried in the past for her sake and for yours. If she ever needs to know who her father is, I'll tell her you disappeared—that I never had a chance to find you, but you were a good man. A good man I will love until the day I die.”
“Life just happens sometimes. You can't predict it. You don't know where it will drop you off unexpectedly. You only get to pick up the pieces when it's all said and done.”
My rating: 5/5.
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James J Cudney
I am so happy that you liked my review. Thank you for writing it :)
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