Linda recommends Father’s Day dramas

Susan EspirituOur Town Readers

There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” – Atticus to Jem, To Kill a Mockingbird

In honor of Father’s Day, the Book Whisperer is recommending two dramas in which fathers play a major role in advancing the plots. The first is Linda’s favorite book and an American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird (TKaM) by Harper Lee and the other is Tracey Lange’s debut novel, We Are the Brennans.

TKaM may have been required reading in middle or high school for many students. Linda read the novel for the first time as a senior in high school and has read it numerous times since then and each time, she discovers something new. As a young reader, she viewed Atticus Finch as the model father; he was a moral and kind man who taught his children to be the same with his words as well as his actions.

After becoming a parent and reading it for the fifth or sixth time, Linda says she realized the Atticus on the page was one dimensional because the reader had only the 6-year-old Scout’s perspective of her father. Atticus could not have been the perfect dad all the time! If you read Lee’s unauthorized publication, Go Set a Watchman, then you learned 26-year-old Scout’s opinion had changed.

In We Are the Brennans, Lange’s patriarch of the Irish American Brennans, Mickey, has four grown children who have lives of their own but all four have either returned to the nest or never left. His daughter’s return to New York after a drunk driving accident in L.A. unearths family secrets, and Mickey’s secret may destroy his family.

“His mind was trying to keep secrets from him. Fitting punishment for a man who’d long kept secrets from his own family.” – Mickey, We Are the Brennans

The Brennans must come clean with one another to survive as a family. Will they grant one another forgiveness and be able to move forward? Linda hated to leave these characters behind and hopes Lange will write a sequel.

Look for these books and many other novels about families at Knox County Online Library or your local independent book store. Happy Father’s Day!

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