Father of the rain
by Lily King









Father of the rain
by Lily King

Summary
Prize-winning author Lily King's masterful new novel spans three decades of a volatile relationship between a charismatic, alcoholic father and the daughter who loves him. Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first eleven years of her life negotiating her parents' conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner's basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it. As she reaches adulthood, Daley rejects the narrow world that nourished her father's fears and prejudices, and embarks on her own separate life#151;until he hits rock bottom. Lured home by the dream of getting her father sober, Daley risks everything she's found beyond him, including her new love, Jonathan, in an attempt to repair a trust broken years ago. A provocative story of one woman's lifelong loyalty to her father, Father of the Rain is a spellbinding journey into the emotional complexities and magnetic pull of family.

Characters
NameDaley Amory
GenderFemale
AttributesFather is an alcoholic; parents are divorced; spent the first eleven years of her life inbetween her parent's conflicted lives; longed to connect with her father; graduated from Berkeley; dating an African-American man; returned to her father's side when he is no longer capapble of living alone


Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Love story

Topics
Fathers and daughters
Family relationships
Children of divorced parents
Children of alcoholics
Alcoholism
Young women
Parenthood
Life choices
Relationships
Interracial relationships
Self-discovery
Identity
Love

Setting
New England (U.S.)





Prize-winning author Lily King's masterful new novel spans three decades of a volatile relationship between a charismatic, alcoholic father and the daughter who loves him. Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first eleven years of her life negotiating her parents' conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner's basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it. As she reaches adulthood, Daley rejects the narrow world that nourished her father's fears and prejudices, and embarks on her own separate life#151;until he hits rock bottom. Lured home by the dream of getting her father sober, Daley risks everything she's found beyond him, including her new love, Jonathan, in an attempt to repair a trust broken years ago. A provocative story of one woman's lifelong loyalty to her father, Father of the Rain is a spellbinding journey into the emotional complexities and magnetic pull of family.





Lily King is an American novelist. She studied at the University of North Carolina, and Syracuse University. Her third, and newest, novel is entitled Father of the Rain. She grew up in Maine and now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Bowker Author Biography)





This powerful family study from King (The English Teacher) begins in the 1970s, when 11-year-old Daley endures the cruel and wildly sexualized behavior of her boorish, alcoholic father while trying to protect her mother. Daley has learned early how to walk the tightrope of misery that stretches between her battling divorcing parents. Fast-forward to Daley as a 29-year-old adult on the brink of living her dream: a professorship at Berkeley and a life with her beloved Jonathan. When her brother calls her home, expecting her to care for her father, who is drowning in the bottle when his second marriage implodes, Daley is faced with impossible choices: save herself or stay with her father while he settles into his shaky sobriety. VERDICT Daley is so beautifully portrayed that readers will clench their fists and protectively rail against her actions, only to be taken breathtakingly by surprise when her complicated, determined strength to do the right thing for both her father and herself replaces her losses with a wondrous resolution. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.





Whiting Award-winner King (The English Teacher) captures with easy strokes the bold and dangerous personalities lurking inside the mundane frame of domestic drama. Her third novel, narrated by the clear-eyed daughter of an alcoholic father, follows their evolving relationship. The opening scene- with 11-year-old Daley and her father wreaking delirious havoc by streaking naked at a martini-fueled pool party in the sleepy Boston suburbs- brims with Daley's love for her father and desire for connection with him, but is also tinged with the repercussions of a charismatic man divorced from the role of parenthood, unlike Daley's socially responsible mother. Daley watches her father's continued degradation, but after years of self-imposed cultural and emotional distance from him-she flourishes at Berkeley and builds a loving, stable relationship with an African-American man she knows her Waspish father will despise-she eventually returns to her father's side after he is no longer capable of living alone. While Daley's perfect romance with her strapping, intelligent suitor is simplistic though sensual, King's latest is original and deftly drawn, the work of a master psychological portraitist. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved





The first half of gifted writer King's (The English Teacher, 2005) new novel presents a riveting portrait of a father so spectacularly dysfunctional that he rivals Alfred Lambert in Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections (2001). Daley Amory is 11 when her parents separate, forcing her to navigate between two entirely different households. Her father immediately takes up with a divorcée who has three children, institutes a 24/7 cocktail hour, encourages nude swimming, and reads aloud to the kids from Penthouse magazine's letters to the editor. Daley instinctively realizes that she must go along with the new family and the new rules or risk losing her father's love; meanwhile, her older, charismatic brother, Garvey, tries to clue her in to their father's narcissism, but it's a lesson she won't learn for years. The second half of the novel isn't nearly as strong because Daley grows up to play the part of a scold, and Garvey is only a fleeting presence. Nevertheless, most readers will be thoroughly taken by King's exceptionally fluid prose and razor-sharp depiction of the East Coast country-club set.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist






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