John Davis did not grow up in the most loving household. His father was verbally and physically abusive and a drug dealer. My Father’s Son is written in two parts. The first provides scenes of Davis’s childhood and interaction with his father. The second part tells a story of enlightenment and a family secret revealed during Davis’s adulthood.
My Father’s Son is a heartbreaking story of abuse. I am still in shock over this story. Davis paints a clear image of his father’s personality and brutality. Readers will witness many events, spanning over years, that show what life was like growing up in the Davis household. The focus is primarily on the father, but some stories involve the mother figure as well. Each chapter covers a different experience and Davis does great job storytelling within those, however, the transitions from chapter to chapter are a bit disconnected. As we enter the second half of this novel, the focus shifts away from the father figure and delves into a family dynamic.
I would like to have seen more of the narrator in this novel. We learn a lot about the family members, but I feel that Davis is holding back on his emotions. Without giving the secret away, I will say that Davis opens up about his feelings and the impact of his upbringing at the very end (especially the epilogue). I just wish we saw this more in the first half – a more personal connection to the narrator versus an outsider looking in subjectively.
I enjoyed this novel. It isn’t something I would normally pick up, but I am happy to have read it. Davis had a story tell and he did so successfully.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital version of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.