Welcome to my stop on The Fathers, The Sons and the Anxious Ghost blog tour! Huge thanks to Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publisher
Publication Date: 29/07/2019
Length: 90 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.GoodReads
The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.
The third part… well that will have to wait
The Fathers, The Sons and the Anxious Ghost is a short novel which follows three men as they navigate parenthood in the wake of a tragic event. An event which sees their lives interweaving as well as their sons who all go to school together.
This novella is split into three parts, and the chapters alternate between different characters. It’s because of this that we quickly learn a lot about them all. The first part of the novella is told by each of the three fathers. Out of all three parts this was my favourite, I thought each of the dad’s had a great narrative voice and I found them all to be believable. They all felt very genuine and going through very real and relatable problems, some of which I even found myself laughing at! I also really liked the way the sons carried on the story ten years later and it was very interesting to see how their dynamic had changed compared to the first part, particularly how close and supportive they became of each other. The way they dealt with their problems compared to their fathers was well done and you can clearly see the difference in their ages and way of thinking. Whilst the last part of the ‘anxious ghost’ was a nice addition to the novel, however I felt that the novel also didn’t need it as everything was already nicely wrapped up.
I thought the story was really interesting and kept me gripped. I really liked the way the novel alternated the point of view between each chapter, especially as some of the chapters might be slightly ahead of behind one another. I thought that this was a clever way to build suspense as, even though you know about the tragic event before the family involved find out, you still want to see how it unfolds or how the family reacts. I would have liked the novella to be slightly longer as there were aspects to the story that I felt could be developed more. However, I understand that this novella was more of a snapshot of a particular event and how it was dealt with by the father’s and the kids. Anything additional could have potentially detracted from it.
Whilst the novella deals with a tragedy at its heart, it also depicts fatherhood and male friendship in a positive way, as well as the importance of men supporting their friends with trauma, which is very refreshing to read. I really enjoyed reading this and it is a great way to spend an evening as it’s a short read that can easily be read in a couple of hours.