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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read author
As with Diane Chamberlain's other books, 'The Good Father' is told through multiple narrators, which at first seem unconnected. Travis is a young father struggling to take care of his four-year-old daughter Bella, after a fire that cost him his mother, his house and his job; Robin is engaged to Dale, who is running for mayor and has just witnessed the birth of Hannah,...
Published on 4 Mar 2012 by K. Wright

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?!
I have read a lot of DC's books, and whilst, like some other reviewers on here, I am a little concerned that she may be falling into the Jodi Picoult `quantity over quality' trap, I generally really enjoy them, and find them to be easy, but compulsive, `cant put it down' reading.
Sadly, I cannot put `The Good Father' into that category. It lacked the suspense and...
Published on 20 Jun 2012 by Hannah1


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read author, 4 Mar 2012
By 
K. Wright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
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As with Diane Chamberlain's other books, 'The Good Father' is told through multiple narrators, which at first seem unconnected. Travis is a young father struggling to take care of his four-year-old daughter Bella, after a fire that cost him his mother, his house and his job; Robin is engaged to Dale, who is running for mayor and has just witnessed the birth of Hannah, Dale's teenage sister Alissa's baby; and Erin who spends her time sitting with her iPad in JumpStart coffee shop typing on message boards as she is haunted by the loss of her young daughter in a terrible accident on a pier.

At first there are a lot of characters to get to know and the reader is not quite sure how all the pieces in this puzzle of a story fit together. However this becomes more and more intriguing the more you read, as you begin to see where the story is heading and you wonder what choices the characters will make. I thoroughly recommend this book as I was hooked throughout all the way to the dramatic and satisfying conclusion and I will continue to read any books by this author.
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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tic Tacs for breakfast!, 25 Feb 2012
By 
elsie purdon "reads too much" (dorset uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
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I enjoyed this book from the first paragraph. It is incredibly easy to get pulled into the story and start caring for the characters. Bella is only just four years old, very cute and I immediately took to her. Her young father is clearly caring for her as well as loving her, yet he is resorting to feeding her Tictacs for breakfast! What is going on? Why are they in this desperate situation? Why is Travis (the dad) about to do something very risky, and why does he intend to leave Bella with Erin. Yet he hasn't actually asked Erin, he just puts a note in Bella's pocket. We don't even know who Erin is yet. As the reader we don't yet know much at all but I want to. I am hooked. This book is almost a thriller because you just have to know what is going to happen.
There are three main characters, Erin, Robin and Travis; who each have their own chapters to tell the story from their point of view. The book not only moves forward through each of them but also goes back in time to explain how each of them got to where they are now.
The Good Father is an easy book to read but not because it's shallow or fluffy.
Diane Chamberlain writes about people first and foremost. Her former career as a clinical social worker and therapist has clearly informed her work and gives her books a very grounded and "real" feeling.
Her books describe complicated situations and the character's responses to them in ways that are very easy to relate to.

Although Diane Chamberlain's books are currently marketed " for fans of Jodi Picoult " I personally prefer Diane mainly because I think she writes more complex characters with her trademark warmth and realism. I also enjoy the way she concludes her stories.
I think Jodi Picoult's books are very much more issue based, and the characters tend to be less rounded out. This is just my opinion. I am sure plenty of other readers will not agree. :-)

I started reading Diane's books about six months ago and have read all the ones I can find. She is an American writer who started having her work published back in the 90's so some of the books are harder to track down.
Also if you like Diane Chamberlain I would recommend Nancy Thayer and Kristin Hannah as two other US women writers that write similarly engrossing books. I wish that a UK publisher would publish more of all their work over here.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'You could block things from your mind for years at a time.', 24 April 2012
By 
L. H. Healy "Books are life, beauty and truth." (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Kindle Edition)
'You could block things from your mind for years at a time. You could make them go away because you know that if you let them in, the pain could nearly kill you.'

As this novel begins, we meet Travis Brown and his little daughter Bella. Travis has had a run of bad luck, losing his regular work in construction and also losing his home. It leaves him in desperate need of a new job, but despite his searches, there is little available, and as a result, he ultimately takes on a role against his better judgement, simply because he sees no other way out, and it will mean he can earn enough money to try and make a difference to their lives. Travis is in his early twenties and raising his little girl alone, without her mother Robin. He is the most prominent good father of the novel's title, and he cherishes Bella; everything he does is driven by his love for her and his need to care for her and bring her up well. When he meets Erin, a kind lady who he deems trustworthy and who takes an instant liking to Bella as they meet each morning in the coffee shop, he decides to trust her with the most precious thing he has.

I really liked the structure of this novel. Three narrators, Travis, Robin and Erin, and the author alternates between them to give us three different views of events. The starting point is a glimpse into the future, and it was interesting to then be taken back into the past, knowing that this scene was coming up, and seeing it from different viewpoints. Gradually, the past is revealed and we find out about Erin's own huge private tragedy, we discover the romance that Travis and Robin shared when they were younger, and we learn how and why Robin couldn't keep her own daughter or be involved in her upbringing. All three of them have personal battles to overcome, and are forced to confront the things that frighten them the most, or hold them back, in order to take back control of their own lives. The narrative builds to a tense climax as events come to a head.

I enjoyed this story. It is character driven, but equally the plot is riveting too. I was keen to find out how things would progress for all three of the main characters. The writer evidently carefully depicted the relationship between Travis and his father, and Robin and her father too, and brought these into the story; I think Travis's relationship with his father influenced how well he cared for Bella. Travis tells us: 'My father'd never broken a promise to me, and I remembered how that felt, knowing I could always trust him no matter what.' Back when Robin and Travis were together, the closeness of Travis and his father is noticed by her too, and we learn of another man who fits the novel's title: 'I loved my own father and I would have said we were close, but Travis's father was almost like a best friend to him. A really, really good father.' Robin Robin's relationship with her potential future sister-in-law Alissa is also well constructed and allows for Robin's changing perception of herself and the admission to herself of her true feelings.

I think Diane Chamberlain really is a consistently good writer, creating readable, engrossing stories about relationships and families, life and love, and she creates believable, flawed characters that the reader really comes to care about and root for. I always look forward to reading her books, and haven't been disappointed by one yet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?!, 20 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Good Father (Kindle Edition)
I have read a lot of DC's books, and whilst, like some other reviewers on here, I am a little concerned that she may be falling into the Jodi Picoult `quantity over quality' trap, I generally really enjoy them, and find them to be easy, but compulsive, `cant put it down' reading.
Sadly, I cannot put `The Good Father' into that category. It lacked the suspense and plot twists usually characteristic of DC's novels, but this doesn't stop it being an enjoyable read. What does, is the fact that what the whole plot is based around - a single fathers desperation to provide for his daughter - is completely unrealistic, as it does not at all take into account the reality of the US welfare system. A single, unemployed father, who loses his home in the way described in the novel, would be entitled to financial support from the state, and emergency housing. Whilst this would not be a great situation, it means the desperation felt by the father in this novel is completely unbelievably, and for me, takes away any credibility of the following plot. The accurate details DC usually uses to build her characters and their circumstances is what usually makes them so enticing, as you find yourself thinking `what would I do?'.I read this novel, waiting and waiting for this to be addressed (knowing DC's previous career as a social worker I thought she could never have overlooked something like this) but it didn't happen, and left me feeling like either I was missing something, or that the book was! I'm also really surprised no one else has mentioned this - so please, tell me, am I missing something?!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive reading, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: The Good Father (Kindle Edition)
If it hadn't been for the necessary evils of work and sleep - I would have finished this book in one sitting. I absolutely loved it! The characters are totally believable and are so easy to engage with. Erin will break your heart with what she is going through and Diane Chamberlain has been honest regarding the havoc that grief wrecks upon a relationship and how each persons response is so unique to them. I really felt for all the main characters - everyone was trying to deal with the hand that life had dealt them, in the best way they knew how. Travis is young and under so much pressure to provide for his daughter and he also is grieving the loss of his mother and copeing with now having no home, no job and no money. Top marks for The Good Father. Absolutely loved it from beginning to end.Cannot recommend it highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book, 25 Mar 2012
By 
Mrs C "Chris in Hampshire" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
You will not be able to put this book down - it has everything.

It is a complex story about teenage sweethearts Travis & Robin and their baby Bella, but along with their story is entwined a separate one of Michael and Erin and their tragedy. Insterspersed with the plight of these two couples are baddies Roy and Savannah.

The book has emotion & suspense, love & friendship, regret & hope, fear & intrigue. It is a thriller with twists and turns. All the way the reader is fearful of what is going to happen next - will there be success or failure. It is a story of determination to put everything right against all odds and difficulties, it is a story of the love for a child.

Read it and find out - you will not be disappointed. This is a real page turner - a brilliant book - a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, as always, 21 Mar 2012
By 
Bezerus Bezby "Bez" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
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I first read a Dianne Chamberlain book purely by chance, as it was left in a hotel I stayed at. I always like her style of writing, her plot lines, description of scenery and characters are always interesting and there are often some unpredictable twists.

For me, this was no exception. This tale, of a young teenage dad, suddenly thrown in at the deep end and forced to take on the care of his baby daughter, keeps you transfixed, worrying, guessing and caring, all at the same time. I felt for Travis, while feeling exasperated also at times, but certainly, never was I bored. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking out for the next one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Choice which has to be made not realising how many lives will be affected..., 8 Mar 2012
By 
Petra "I love to read" "book addict!!!" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
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The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain is one book which I would recommend to all readers of fiction especially to readers who enjoy the work of Jodi Picoult as it was written in the same style but I honestly would say that Diane Chamberlain is a better writer as she uses so much extra detail in her writing and when she is using each of the characters to narrate their own story she does it in such a way that the reader can do nothing but become attached to each of the characters.
Travis is doing everything he can to give Bella his daughter the life he needs but after a terrible tragedy, his life unravels at such a force he cannot control it. He is offered a one off deal which he sees as an answer to his problems but he knows to do this he will have to let a complete stranger who he has met in a coffee shop look after Bella. That complete stranger is Erin but Travis does not realise Erin is also coping with her own tragedies and total heartbreak and most important of all he does not understand how hard it will be for Erin to look after Bella not only physically but more mentally.
We also meet Robin and through her own narration we are told she is Bella's birth mother but because of her own health problems she was unable too look after Bella and Travis ended up having sole custody but this arrangement has its own heart wrenching story and I promise any reader will grow to care for each of these characters as they read the book. But through reading the book we get to know Robin better and we watch as she grows not only physically stronger but also emotionally stronger because of Robin having her own choices to make.
What I loved about this book is that the author give us three totally different characters from totally different backgrounds and because of one child these characters are all brought together in a way which no one would never have imagined. The author has wrote such an exciting book which I could not put down because I wanted nothing but happiness for each of them but most important of all I wanted Bella to have the wonderful childhood she deserved.
The author Diane Chamberlain has written a book which was such an exciting and addictive read, she fully understands what any parent would do when the health of their children is under threat but with each of the characters she not only describes them physically but through her writing I fully understood the emotional turmoil they were facing individually daily. As I was reading Travis' story I fully understood why he made the choice he did to put the care of his child into the hands of a stranger and but most of all why he made the one dangerous decision to break the law for him to be able too feed and cloth his most precious thing and that was his daughter Bella. But the author also developed a character like Erin who has lost her precious child and why she has continued to make the choices she has made daily from the day she lost her child and what pain she suffered every day since. What I particularly liked about what the way the author developed Erin as a character and how she used Bella as a way of Erin not getting over the death of her daughter but she brought the innocence of a child to help heal the pain she felt from she lost her child in such a tragic way. Each of the characters all had their own choices to make and each of them had all different outcomes.
The Good Father by Diane Chamerlain is one book I highly recommend and if I could have given it ten stars I would have as it has everything a good book needs and what a reader wants.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Diane Chamberlain i've read., 25 Jun 2012
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This review is from: The Good Father (Paperback)
I pre-ordered this book for my kindle, based on the fact that i've read almost all of Diane Chamberlain's books, and i love her characters and the way that even a character who may have done something awful can still be likeable. I think that Chamberlain has a good grasp of psychology, and understands human emotions well.
However, i have to say that i was disappointed by this book. I didn't ever empathise with the main character, the 'good father'- i thought that he was irresponsible, and his actions could have been disasterous. I never really got to understand him, and thought that he never really seemed like a real character to me.
I liked the storyline, and i did like the character of Erin, although i found her sudden change of heart later in the story strange and not really true to character. I liked her story though.
There were also just too many co-incidences within the story that just didn't flow right or make sense to me.
I didn't dislike this book, but i would not read it again. I hope Diane Chamberlain's next novel is more like her past books again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GOOD FATHER, 20 April 2014
By 
Amanda "sac" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Good Father (Kindle Edition)
Travis Brown is a young man who with the help of his mother is raising his daughter Bella.Sadly a tragedy occurs and the house they all live in sets on fire and his mum dies, Travis who is so very sad over his loss has more heartache to come when he loses his job. Without a house or work their future is looking very bleak, however this proud father will do anything he can to keep his daughter safe and happy.
The story unfolds as each chapter alternates between Travis, Robin (Bella's mother) and Erin, a woman with a broken heart after losing her daughter.
Highly recommend this novel, such an engaging read. Diane Chamberlain is so good at relating heartfelt stories and this is no exception.
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The Good Father
The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain (Paperback - 1 Jun 2012)
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