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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Father's Day by Simon Van Booy

Father's Day: A Novel - Simon Van Booy

This is the story of a girl named Harvey.  It begins when she is about two years old.  It’s clear to the reader that Harvey is a very well-adjusted little girl with parents who love her.  She has thoughts and questions about adult things expressed aptly through the eyes of a child.  Her father has a brother she never met.  Her mother paints a terrible picture of him.  Her dad offers her a softer view of her uncle.  Even still the uncle had been in prison — rage issues — and is off limits to Harvey.


Her parents die in a car crash when she is only six-years-old.  Wanda, a social worker, gives great thought to Harvey’s options.  In fact, after doing some research, she tweaks the system in order to have Jason, Harvey’s uncle, adopt and raise her.  Fast forward twenty years and Harvey is working in Paris and preparing for her father’s visit.


Upon the initial death of Harvey’s parents, I found her to be almost too disconnected from the emotional trauma that would certainly play out with a six-year-old.  The mystery, if there is one, was given away all too quickly … the fact that Harvey was raised by her Uncle Jason.  It’s suggested that Harvey was young enough to accept that Jason was actually her father, yet I believe six-year-old children are old enough that they would remember their biological parents.  The characters were rather clichéd or stereotyped, and the sentimentality was almost mawkish.  There were many cute references with the flashbacks of a man raising a child for which he had no prior experience whatsoever.  Rating: 3 out of 5.