Wednesday, 13 April 2016

After Dad by Ralph Cohen

A peculiar, but strangely compelling book, made up of a series of interlinked short stories.
The stories take us through the lives of four family members - a wife, two daughters and a son -following the death of their father ( & husband).

Margot and Jenny's stories are written in the first person, as is the wife's. Oddly though, Toby's story is written in the third person. The chapter about the funeral director, also written in the third person, seemed out of place.

The children all have emotional and moving stories in the years following their father's death, which at times made uncomfortable reading.

Although I felt involved with the girls stories, I didn't have the same connection with Ruth or Toby!


I received an eCopy of After Dad from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.



Synopsis:


"He was always there for me," Jenny Kovacek says in the opening of the novel After Dad, and indeed, her father is such a charismatic force in the family that despite his untimely passing, he continues to have a dynamic impact on his survivors. Set mostly in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s, Ralph Cohen's debut novel tells the stories of the man's three children and widow as they cope with their loss. Though missing, the father is never far from their minds, and during critical moments in their lives, he seems to reach out in various ways, from simple memories of touch and voice to artifacts left behind to a sense of his ongoing existence. How each of the family members responds to his lingering presence leads to results that are by turn comic, tragic and transformative.
Two of the book's chapters appeared previously in literary magazines, The Connecticut Review and REAL.


The Author:


Ralph Cohen was born and raised in Southern California. He has a background in journalism, media relations and speechwriting. This is his first novel.



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