When I first saw advance reading copies of this new book by one of my favourite authors on Net galley for review I was so excited I told lost of my friends - I was therefore really gutted when I wasn't selected to receive a copy. However this was made up for when I won a copy from a blog giveaway on randomthingsthroughmyletterbox my friends book blog, glad to say I wasn't disappointed by it and here is my review:
The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Diane Chamberlain has come up with yet another real heart tugging page turner of a novel here. It has everything to satisfy the hungry reader - an adorable little girl, her hunky yet gentle Dad who's misguided innocence leads him astray yet who adores his daughter, romance, loss, crime, action, grief, joy and lots of exciting tension.
Yes the story of good father Travis bringing up his little girl Bella single handedly is practically guaranteed to melt the hardest of hearts.
We first meet Travis and Bella as things are starting to go badly wrong for them, disaster follows disaster and leaves them virtually penniless, jobless, lonely and homeless and desperately looking for work and security.
Meanwhile we are introduced to Erin, grieving mother trying to cope with life after a tragic accident and Robin - Bella's birth mother rebuilding her life after major surgery and trying to put memories of Travis and the baby they created together behind her.
When Travis is unable to find a job locally he's relieved when he gets a lead out of town and decides to up sticks and take Bella across country to a new area to meet a guy he's never met but whom he has been promised will give him work. In a town where he knows no-one and desperate need of someone to babysit Bella he decides to leave her with a woman he hasn't known long but who Bella is comfortable with, and at this point bad begins to go considerably worse!
The story is mostly about making the wrong decisions and the far reaching consequences, about moving on and moving forwards, of loss and grief and relationships and even though there were a couple of times I wanted to shake Travis and shout NOO don't be stupid - you can see why he gets confused and desperate, who amongst us can honestly say we can always remain calm in a crisis and make the best decisions under pressure?
Despite a few small anomalies and lots of amazing coincidences, you can forgive these because of the superb story telling. This is that rare thing a book which is truly character AND story driven, with precisely drawn characters so real you'd swear you'd actually met them and enough going on for there to be twists and turns all the way.
A lovely read and one I can highly recommend to existing fans of Ms Chamberlain and those of you who haven't yet tried her superb writing.