Title: Our father who art out there... somewhere
Author: AJ (Alison) Taft
Pages: 260 (paperback)
Genre: chick noir
Published: September 2011
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars
What would you do if your own father refused to meet you?Growing up in Accrington with only an agoraphobic mother and Bert next door for company, Lily Appleyard spent her childhood hoping that one day her absent father would show up and whisk her off to a better life. He never did. Now nineteen and at college in Leeds, she stills harbours a fantasy he'll show up one day. Maybe he's busy saving the whale in the Antarctic, or searching for a cure for cancer in the Brazilian Rainforest.Her best friend Jo has much lower expectations of men. That's because her father waited until she was fourteen before leaving with his teenage, pregnant girlfriend. When Lily's mother dies and Lily finds her father alive and well but with no intention of ever meeting her, she has a decision to make. Should she forget about him? Or does she have a right to know her own father? Doesn't he owe her at least one meeting? Jo's had enough of talking about a revolution. She thinks it's time for action. Fuelled by vodka and a burning need for revenge, Lily realises she's got nothing left to lose.
For me this book proved you can't judge a book by its cover. When I received my copy of "Our father who art out there... somewhere" I didn't know what to think. The title wasn't too attractive for me (it made me think of something religious/philosophical... a "heavy" book...) and neither was the drawing on the cover. When I read the back of the book though, I thought this book could be a good one. And it was... I liked it a lot!
Alison Taft tells us the story of Lily Appleyard, a nineteen year old girl studying politics. When Lily hears her mother died, she doesn't know what to feel (like I did when I received this book). On the one hand she feels like she's left alone in this world because her mother was the only person left of her family. On the other hand she also feels some kind of relief... Her mother surely wasn't an example of parenting. After her husband left her (19 years ago, before Lily was even born), she gave up on life and started eating all the junkfood she could find. She became a person Lily was ashamed of. A person Lily needed to worry about. A person Lily couldn't trust or rely on. The death of her mother makes Lily wonder again... Is there really no other person in her life she can call family? Why didn't her father try to contact her once? Why did his family act as if she didn't exist.
When Lily decides to write a letter to the Salvation Army to get in touch with her father, her life changes and will never be like before again. The Salvation Army lets her know her father has NO wish to communicate. Lily's world tumbles... She hoped after the death of her mother, she would be able to find her father and catch up with him without disappointing her mother who hated him. But now it turns out he doesn't want to meet her. It's a slap in Lily's face and she wants to hurt him back. That's why she kidnappes his other daughter, Fiona... The beginning of a big adventure that never gets dull.
I must say I needed some time to get used to the writing of Alison Taft but this doesn't mean I didn't like it from the beginning on. It was "forward" but when I've got to know the characters better, I realised this "forward" way of writing was just what this story needed. It's a story about things nobody wants to happen in his/her life. A story about pain and about family. About finding and losing people you love...
What I liked about this book was the fact it keeps on going and going without one boring moment. When I discoverd the kidnap happened rather quick in the book, I didn't think Alison Taft was going to be able to entertain me for much longer. I was wrong. The story goes on and there were lots of twists and turns in this book I didn't expect. This makes it a good and solid book.
One thing I didn't quite understand, but maybe that's just me. In this book we get to know Stuart. He's Fiona's boyfriend and helps the girls when they try to hide for the father of Lily and Fiona. After a while Stuart admits he's in love with Lily. He tells this to Fiona and though she hates him for the fact he loves her sister, she finally gives the two of them the opportunity to be together. The chapter after that Fiona visits her mother togheter with Stuart. Why does he accompany her when they aren't a couple anymore? Does he try to love Fiona nevertheless?? Hmmm, I don't know :p But it doesn't matter.
What does matter is the fact I thought the story somewhat hasty at the end. Suddenly a lot of feelings change while they needed so much time to become what they were. It's like the book told us the story about the construction of a house and in the three last pages the whole house is suddenly torn down. This bothered me a little bit and that's why I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5.