This was an unexpected love for me. As someone who doesn't have a father (and doesn't miss him), I wasn't expecting to relate to this as much as I did. It's as much a coming of age tale as it is a novel about loss. The story is told by his children (Margot, Jenny, and Toby) and their mother, Ruth. It's funny one moment, then it'll turn on a dime and punch you in the heart without warning. It's set in the 1960's and it feels like it... or at least what I've come to see as the '60s through the lens of the media, and Mad Men.
I didn't care about much about Toby and Ruth at all. Both of them were unseen for most of the novel, which made it difficult for me to connect with their story. Toby in particular had a disconnect from reality that made his chapters difficult to read, though objectively they should be the saddest. I wouldn't say their stories were uninteresting, far from it actually, but seeing them so infrequently made it hard for me to care about them. In POV novels there are characters whose chapters I will skip, and I was sorely tempted to skip these two, though I'm glad I didn't.
Margot and Jenny's stories both struck a chord with me. Being a young woman as I am, there are things that we grow through when we're growing up that seem to be almost universal experiences. There are things that happen that change you, and both Jenny and Margot experience their share of horrible things and horrible people. (See: my reading status updates that consist entirely of "fuck Gerald")
I won't spoil it. You know the dad dies, but I'm not giving away anything more than that. If you've read my reviews before, you know that I am firmly against spoilers of any variety. I'll say this, though: This is the sort of novel that is going to hang around with me for a while. A couple of times I had to set it down for a day or two to gather myself. It's been haunting me when I've been too busy to read it, and this is a sad ghost I'd like to shake.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.