The Good Father by Noah Hawley

The Good Father by Noah Hawley

This book tackles the big ‘why’ that follows a tragedy. Why did those boys kill 12 of their fellow students? Why did Anders Behring Breivik go on a shooting rampage in Norway? Sometimes the killer will tell us why, sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes its violence for the sake of violence. Rarely is it none of the above. The Good Father is none of the above.

Paul Allen is a doctor, living a comfort life with his second wife. He has a son from his previous marriage: Daniel. From a young age, Daniel had to constantly fly to and fro, from the west coast and the east coast, between his parents. One day, Daniel shoots a hugely popular presidential candidate. Paul must know why; he embarks on a journey to find out who his son really is.

It starts with the tragedy but quickly turns into a story about family, the role of a father and it must continue through a child’s life and onto adult hood, no matter the circumstances. If you start again and become a new father, you are still responsible. Paul realises this too little too late.

But the whole book is open for debate. I read this is a part of book club and we had varying opinions. As a reader of Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, I saw the presidential candidate as a substitution. Daniel wanted to kill his father. The parallels are all there. Maybe you’ll see something different. I simply adored this book because of the endless excuses, reasons and unanswered questions.