Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain explores the obligations and bonds of parenthood through the stories of three sets of parents who are all loosely connected. At the center of all of the stories is four year old Bella - the adults in the novel all try to do what is best for the young girl amidst challenging circumstances. How will they protect Bella while trying to overcome their own pasts and demons?

Travis Brown was nineteen when his daughter Bella was born and he has taken care of her alone for the past four years. He is obviously devoted to the little girl and doesn’t dwell on any regrets over giving up college or missing out on his early adulthood. As the novel opens, Travis has lost his job and is struggling to make ends meet. He worries about how he will care for Bella while looking for a job. He meets Erin in a coffee shop and notes her easy manner with Bella and a plan is hatched.

Erin is living in a rental apartment near the coffee shop because she is taking time away from her husband, Michael. After the loss of their daughter young daughter Carolyn, the couple are having problems connecting as they work through their grief differently. Erin cannot fathom rejoining “the real world” by returning to her job as a pharmacist while Michael has thrown himself into his work. She prefers to spend her time on a support group website for parents who have lost children; she heads to the coffee shop because it is anonymous and offers wi-fi. Her anonymous bubble is burst when Bella and Travis come in one day and Erin finds herself drawn to the little girl.

 Robin is the fiancee of Dale Hendricks who is the son of a political family and running for Mayor of Beaufort, North Carolina. Although she is aware that the Hendricks family have groomed her, Robin feels fortunate to be marrying Dale and to be joining the Hendricks family. She has much to feel thankful for - she suffers from a congential heart abnormality which limited her growing up as her overprotective father restricted her activity in order to protect her weak heart. So as not to give anything away, I won’t say how Robin is connected to Bella - it is better revealed in the book.

My Thoughts 
This is the second book by Diane Chamberlain which I have read (review of The Lies We Told) and it did not disappoint. Told from the viewpoints of the three narrators, the characters are all very well developed without including unnecessary details which distract from the story and slow down the pace of the read. I found I liked most of the characters and wanted to see things work out for them as the story progressed - I could even read a sequel that focused more specifically on Erin. I am interested to see how things turn out for her and Michael. All in all, this is an enjoyable read with well developed characters - a great way to spend a few afternoons.

Find additional reviews of the book, guest posts and clues to the scavenger hunt on the other blog tour stops.

You can chat live with the author on Thursday, May 31 at 3pm ET on

I'll be there - will you?

Thank you to Erin from Media Muscle for providing a review copy of the book


  1. This sounds so good to me. The fact that you'd like a sequel says a lot!

  2. I love when authors develop characters well without burdening the reader with unnecessary details. Including too much information often becomes overwhelming in books with multiple storylines and characters.

  3. I LOVED this book, too; in fact, all of Chamberlain's books have been favorites. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I'm adding to my wish list...

  5. I've been seeing this book around quite a bit and it seems to be universally loved. I'm sure I'll get to it ... someday!

  6. Wow, this looks like a book I would definitely like. Great review Colleen!

  7. I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain's and you are right, this one did not disappoint. Great review!