Book Review: The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain- The Good Father

Format- Paperback

Source- Review copy

Publisher- MIRA

Publication date- May 2012

Synopsis- A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there’s no going back.Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake.Even if it means he might lose her.

Review- At 23 years old, Travis is the father and sole carer of four year old adorable Bella. Following a house fire where he lost his mother and his home and all his savings, followed by the loss of his job, he and Bella are left homeless and penniless. Desperate to find work he accepts a vague job with a guy called Roy that his friend Savannah recommends. Unknowingly he gets roped into doing a drug run and Travis is too tempted by the one-off cash payment for a few hours’ work to turn it down.

He takes the risk of leaving Bella at the local coffee-shop with a kind woman named Erin who they have developed a friendship with. He trusts Bella in her care and leaves her without explaining to Erin what he will be doing and when he will be back.

Erin is trying to deal with her own issues, mainly the loss of her young daughter Caroline who would be the same age as Bella if she survived the accident. Erin has separated from her husband who grieves differently to her and feeling alone and grief-stricken she moves out and stumbles into the lives of Bella and Travis. Erin is in a tough position when Travis does not return to pick up Bella the next morning, she is tempted to call child services and hand her over, but her protectiveness for Bella and her gut feeling that Travis was in trouble, she sets out in search of a young woman in a photo named Robin, Bella’s mother.

Robin should be ecstatic, engaged to a powerful man soon to be mayor, she has overcome a life-threatening heart condition following a transplant and she is living the life her father always dreamed of for her. But when her sister-in law falls pregnant at just 17 years old and delivers a beautiful baby girl, Robin is haunted by the baby girl she never got to see, the one she tried so hard to forget.

I really felt for each of the characters in The Good Father. Travis is a likeable young guy, who really wants the best for his daughter. Despite him providing her with love, affection and stimulation, he struggles to meet her physical needs of shelter, food and clothing. I trusted Erin and was glad this strong woman was able to step in and protect Bella while her father tried to sort out his mess. I also empathised with Robin whose father had manipulated her trying to serve his best interests in making Robin a success but ultimately stripping her of her happiness and her identity.

It’s a suspenseful ending with a heart-warming reunion and a very satisfactory ending that left me smiling and very happy that Bella will have a more comfortable life thereafter.

I will surely seek out more of Diane Chamberlain’s novels after this enjoyable read.

4/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK


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