Father’s Day is just around the corner, and for many of us the holiday brings memories of fathers long passed. My own Dad, a WWII veteran who went to war as a seventeen year-old and saw action up close as he parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and spent enough winter time in a Bastogne foxhole to end up with frozen feet, is missed that day, and many others. But memories do fade over time. Impressions last longer.
Throughout my childhood I always thought my Dad was a hero. Strong, somewhat mysterious, funny. A man who was good at horseshoes and threw his back out golfing, always quick with a quip and there when he was needed. But, of course, as we grow up, we see a few flaws— all fathers are human, after all. And, as we mature, we see the world through a more intelligent lens, filtered through our larger experience.
But, the impression of being in a father’s care, that is lasting. I miss that feeling. Unconditional father love. Not everyone is lucky enough to experience it first hand, but can only dream of it or yearn for it.
Just about a month ahead of the publication date for my second novel, Finding Grace, I can’t let this Father’s Day pass without a few words about the father featured in the story. I’ll avoid any major spoilers but shed some light on Charlie and how I developed his character.
As human beings, we’re all products of our past; good and bad, our experiences have formed us into who we are. The same is true of Charlie Booker who presents early in the book as a complicated man. Clearly flawed, he has suffered an early trauma that was so negative it caused his character deep psychological pain. Charlie was a foundling who grew up an orphan, and was shuttled among many foster placements throughout his life.
That series of events in his childhood forms his deep need for attachment, even though he isn’t experienced in healthy family relationships. His desire for a family, at any cost, creates a moral dilemma that gnaws at him throughout the book. His fear of being alone, his inability to trust others, and his desperation to save his daughter all grow from his own wounding event.
I hope the explanation above helps you understand how it is that authors who described this book in their blurbs as ‘gut-wrenching, heartrending, and gripping’ also use ‘compassionate’, and ‘labyrinth of love, hope and commitment’ to describe Charlie’s search for vital and lasting connections.
I promise I will write future posts to provide insight into both Caroline’s and Grace’s characters also. All three of the main characters are on their own unique coming-of-age journey. I hope you tag along by reading the book!
Finding Grace will be available widely once published, and is available for pre-order now on bookshop.org https://bookshop.org/books/finding-grace-9781647423858/9781647423858 and amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Grace-Novel-Maren-Cooper/dp/1647423856/ref=sr_1_1?
I do think it would be a worthy Father’s Day gift—even if it doesn’t arrive until July. Happy Father’s Day!