Father of The Rain – Lily King

Last week I jumped in the car for my hour and a half ride to bookclub. I enjoy this ride and going back to the town where I lived while completing my graduate degree. This month was different because I had not finished the book and really had no intention of doing so. Even if there was no book, the company, chatter, and catching up make it worth it. I’d struggled for 3 days to make headway and the tassel on my bookmark swung at about the middle. That’s not like me and t even told me so when I walked into her kitchen.

When we meet Daley she is 11 years old and witnessing the dissolution of her parent’s marriage. Watergate is unfolding in the media and Daley is learning how to navigate the tension brought on by her father’s alcoholism. After her parents divorce Daley must change herself to fit in as she moves between the two homes. What we see is a very good portrait of the effects of alcoholism on children and relationships. But long after Daley has moved out and completed graduate school, she continues to struggle with her relationship with her father and finds herself going back to help him when he is at his lowest point.

The group seemed to have 2 major issues with Daley and the portrayal of her relationships. While we agreed that the alcoholism and its effects were very real, we found Daley’s relationship with her African-American boyfriend to be a bit strange, as if the relationship was an afterthought to add more fuel to the story or that King just had no basis for writing about interracial dating. The group was also perplexed that Daley, an intelligent observant woman, could never really see or realize the manipulation her father brought upon her and her family, even at the urging of her closest friends.

The great thing about bookclub is that every month we are reading something that I wouldn’t have normally picked for myself. We talked for a while about what the book made us feel, for some the portrayal of an alcoholic parent hit close to home. When I left home that day I fully intended not to go back and finish the book, but later I wanted to see for myself the resolution that Daley might come to with herself, her boyfriend, and her father’s illness.

It took me another 2 days but I got there.

To help us along we had these yummy cupcakes and gorgeous roses.


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