Celebrating All Fathers

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and father figures out there! Today I thought it would be interesting to talk about fathers in some of my favorite books. Fatherhood comes in different shapes and sizes, and no father (or parent for that matter) is perfect, but we live and we learn.

Here are three books I really liked that also made me think a little differently about fathers:

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

In The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Samuel Hawley is dedicated to his child, Loo. The father and daughter have a charming relationship; they move around from place to place that all they have is each other. But Hawley isn’t the type to talk much, and Loo is flabbergasted when, at some point, Hawley decides that it’s time to settle down.

This is a story in which father and daughter are putting down roots despite a mysterious past that is finally catching up to them.

Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel

In Last Night in Montreal, the father takes a kind of a backseat because the plot is all about Lillia. She spent much of her childhood moving from place to place with her father without really knowing why, but it seems she has taken their lifestyle to heart. Fast forward to adulthood: Lillia has gotten so used to moving around with her father that she cannot stay in one place for too long. She leaves hurt ex-lovers behind as she creates new beginnings with each move.

There are more characters involved in this story, and it’s made all the more interesting because Lillia cannot remember her life before she and her father began their life on the road. This is a great story about obsessing over things and uncovering the truth.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, we find that Oskar’s father has passed away tragically. The story is set a year after the incident, and Oskar must come to terms with grief and loss. (He and his father were very close, and we get glimpses of Oskar’s father through recollections.) This is a story about family—how its members cope and move forward. Although the father is no longer present, Oskar’s remaining family will make it through the rain work.

(This is the book that officially made me a fan of Jonathan Safran Foer, so I made it a mission to grab Here I Am when it was released.)