£8.99 from bookshops or less from Amazon
What happens when four male writers write about their fathers; four sons reveal the bonds that exist between themselves and their very different fathers, and then in second stories consider their own roles as fathers or father figures.
fascinating double-take on the experience of being fathered and then becoming a father yourself - eight short tales full of wit, pathos and insight.
The book is brought to a close by James Nash’s In Loco Parentis, in which he reaches back to his 25th year, in 1974, and describes an event in his classroom late on a Friday afternoon, while 'outside the window Meanwood dozes like a dog on a warm pavement. Nash has a telling line for each of his characters. Sean sings Elvis songs at his desk. 'Today it’s Return to Sender. Sean has the ability to provoke the anxiety of a mother with a premature baby'. At the next desk, Ryan, 'bulging out of his clothes in a daunting, hormonal way', 'can flip into an incandescent rage within seconds'. Philomena’s handwriting 'is large, open and extraordinarily neat. She has a strong jaw-line and angry blue eyes that say, quite clearly, ‘Get off Me!’ For this story alone, Four Fathers is more than worth the cover price.
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