The Good Father

By Noah Hawley
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385535533, 320pp.)

Publication Date: March 20, 2012

List Price: $25.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2012 Indie Next List
“How much does divorce really affect a child? How responsible is a parent for the acts performed by his adult child? Is the unconditional love of a parent for a child truly unconditional? Paul Allen is a respected doctor living the American dream in Connecticut with his second wife and their twin sons. Daniel is the 19-year-old product of his first failed marriage. When Daniel is accused of shooting the Democratic candidate for president at a rally, things begin spiraling out of control. When Paul tries to rush to his son's side, he learns that not only does no one care that he is a doctor, but he is also viewed with suspicion because he is Daniel's father. Hawley has written a psychological thriller about the modern American family in a situation that is only too possible in today's society.”
-- Sharon Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI


Description

An intense, psychological novel about one doctor's suspense-filled quest to unlock the mind of a suspected political assassin: his twenty-year old son.
 
As the Chief of Rheumatology at Columbia Presbyterian, Dr. Paul Allen's specialty is diagnosing patients with conflicting symptoms, patients other doctors have given up on. He lives a contented life in Westport with his second wife and their twin sons—hard won after a failed marriage earlier in his career that produced a son named Daniel. In the harrowing opening scene of this provocative and affecting novel, Dr. Allen is home with his family when a televised news report announces that the Democratic candidate for president has been shot at a rally, and Daniel is caught on video as the assassin. 
    
Daniel Allen has always been a good kid—a decent student, popular—but, as a child of divorce, used to shuttling back and forth between parents, he is also something of a drifter. Which may be why, at the age of nineteen, he quietly drops out of Vassar and begins an aimless journey across the United States, during which he sheds his former skin and eventually even changes his name to Carter Allen Cash.
    
Told alternately from the point of view of the guilt-ridden, determined father and his meandering, ruminative son, The Good Father is a powerfully emotional page-turner that keeps one guessing until the very end. This is an absorbing and honest novel about the responsibilities—and limitations—of being a parent and our capacity to provide our children with unconditional love in the face of an unthinkable situation.




About the Author

NOAH HAWLEY is an author, screenwriter, and producer. He has published three previous novels, conceived and run two network television shows, and written one feature film. Before creating his own shows, he was a writer and producer for the hit show Bones on FOX. He currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and daughter.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The central theme of the novel is one of parenting, and the amount of influence a parent has on who their child grows up to be. How much responsibility does Paul ultimately bear for Daniel’s actions?

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