The Good Father from the title of Diane Chamberlain's latest novel is Travis.
Travis is in his early twenties and is single handedly bringing up four year old Bella. Bella is his child from a doomed relationship with his childhood sweetheart Robin.
The story begins half way through, the reader is introduced to Travis and Bella just as he has to make an enormous decision that could change their lives.
And so, we see Travis leave his beloved daughter in the care of Miss Erin - a sad and lonely woman in her mid-thirties, and someone that Travis only met a few days ago.
This prologue leaves the reader gasping for more, I wanted to know why? who? what?
The story is narrated by the three lead characters in turn; Travis, Erin and Robin.
Each narrator has their own back story, each one of them are realistic and likeable, but each one of them sees their situation in totally different ways.
Who couldn't fall in love with the wonderful Travis?
A young man who loves his daughter with every ounce of his being, who would (and indeed does) do anything to make sure that she is happy and secure.
A young man with faults, but with a vulnerability that would melt the hardest of hearts. My heroine was Erin - a woman who has suffered a tragic loss and who can't see a future for herself. It is her heartache and her experience that make her behave in the way that she does and although she is a complex character, she also is vulnerable.
And finally, Robin. The mother who left her child, the mother who hasn't thought about her child or her childhood sweetheart for many years. The reader should dislike her - after all, we love Travis, how could we like the woman who hurt him so badly? Again though, Diane Chamberlain has created a realistic character in Robin and it soon becomes clear that she too has her sadness and her pain to deal with.
The Good Father serves up a story of enduring family relationships, of pain and sorrow and loss with a plot that is fast-paced, maybe at times a tiny bit far-fetched, but totally gripping nethertheless.
Published by Mira Books on 1 June 2012, I have no doubt that Diane Chamberlain has another hit on her hands.