June 16, 2021

Fictional Fathers

Today's Top 5 Wednesday topic is Fictional Fathers. I'm going to share some fathers from books I've read recently. These fathers may or may not be upstanding members of the group, but they are at least noteworthy. Honestly, though, fathers are frequently absent from fiction. Especially from Young Adult fiction. It's only recently come back into vogue to have parents present at all in YA books, and absent fathers are so commonplace in real life, that it is easy to leave them out in fiction as well. That's one reason why these fathers are notable.

The Truth Project by Dante Medema - This book really tackles the definition of father. Cordelia does a genealogy project for her senior capstone project and finds out that her dad isn't her biological father. This guy is notable because he already knew, but he didn't want his wife to know he knew. He was happy to just let her think he was clueless about his middle child's parentage to keep his family intact. He didn't want her to think they needed to fight or cause a disruption. He treated Cordelia the same as his other children and moved on.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich - Stephanie Plum's dad isn't going to win any father of the year awards, but he is hilarious. His mother-in-law moved in with them when her husband died and she is a lunatic. She is enjoying her old age and he is forced to put up with her antics. Mostly he responds in the form of unintelligible grunts of fits of apoplexy when she does or says something truly bizarre.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Bella's dad did not know what he was in for. I mean, he knew it was going to be difficult when his teenaged daughter decided to come live with him full time. He didn't really have much of a relationship with her, but he sure wanted to. Then she gets mixed up with the creepy family in town. Weird stuff starts happening to her. He has no idea what to do, but her sure tries.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender - Felix's dad is a truly minor character in this book. His mom is gone, and it's just him and dad. Also he's trans, and his dad is struggling. He gets props for helping Felix get his gender reassignment surgery, so there's that, but he also dead-names him all the time. This makes Felix unhappy and unaccepted. So, it's kind of a yay and a nay. It also seems backwards. If you can't accept your kid's new name, how are you going to pay for gender reassignment surgery?

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles - Again, the father in this book takes a smaller role in the story, but he is present which is a bonus. Throughout the book, it's clear that this father has coached his son, the main character, in how to "be a man" and "get the girl." It's basically solid instruction in toxic masculinity. At the end of the book, he sits the kid down and tells him he was wrong. The wife and daughter had had an intervention with him and set him straight, and he was sharing with his son how he had led him astray. So he started out with issues and got turned around later.

There you have 5 fathers I've read about lately that I could share. Mostly they are from YA novels, but that's what I'm mostly reading lately, so... It is what it is. Who are your favorite fictional fathers?