#Bookreview – Father Figure by James J. Cudney

Book reviews

What Amazon says

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly.

Abused by her mother, Amalia Graeme longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies.

Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden New York City teenager, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent.

Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. Father Figure is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.

Praise from readers:

★★★★★ – “The book deals with abuse, identity, acceptance, overcoming obstacles, crime, sexuality, family secrets, and knowing who you are. Another great story to read, especially if you love emotive, suspenseful family dramas.”

★★★★★ – “Gripping and emotional… Mr. Cudney has written a book full of twists and turns that kept my eyes glued to its pages.”

★★★★★ – “Amalia and Brianna are fully developed characters with all the fears, naivety, anxiety and angst of teen, young adults; full of questions and doubts… Can’t wait for James Cudney’s next work.”

My review

Father Figure is an intriguing story of two women’s journeys, at two different points in time, towards self acceptance and redemption.

Amalia grew up in the small town of Brant, Mississippi, the abused daughter of a jealous and spiteful mother, who suffers from diabetes, and a weak and insipid father, who turns a blind eye to his wife’s physical and verbal abuse of his daughter. Despite her father’s faults, Amalia is devoted to her father. Her love for her father does not prevent her from seeking to create a better life for herself away from Brant and she accepts a sports scholarship to Woodlands College. Amalia’s sheltered and dysfunctional home life does not equip her for life at a university full of young men and women. She becomes romantically involved with Carter, her brother’s rather childish and selfish best friend, and simultaneously meet a middle aged, but attractive, professor who she develops a huge crush on. Amalia’s naivety set her up to make poor romantic choices and other decisions that change the course of her life.

Brianna is the lonely and slightly indulged teenage daughter of a single fairly successful career woman living in New York City. She has grown up without a father figure and has an obsession with finding out more about the mystery man who fathered her. Her mother refuses to engage with her on the subject, saying it is part of her painful past. Brianna knows virtually nothing about her mother’s family and this increases her frustration at her mother’s refusal to tell her about her roots. Brianna is also confused about her sexuality and is locked in an internal struggle to discover whether she is attracted to men or whether her attraction for her best friend, Shanelle, is the real thing. In order to give herself some space, away from her over-protective mother, Brianne decides to apply to Woodlands College, which is out of state and the same college Shanelle has decided to attend.

Brianna’s decision to attend Woodland’s sets in motion a sequence of events that unravel the mysteries of the past and cause the separate timelines of Amalia and her to cross with unforeseen consequences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama.

Purchase Father Figure

47 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Father Figure by James J. Cudney

  1. Yes, I really enjoyed this novel, a lot of story packed in, even those of us with a stable home can remember the angst of being a teenager and having to make decisions about the future. It wa also intesting to read about growing up in the USA.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Robbie,

    This is a stunning review. I am thrilled at how much you enjoyed it… the story is such an emotional one, and I still get teary thinking about it. Thank you for saying so many wonderful things about it. I am over the moon today. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    1. This one is quite different to the cosy mystery series, Sally. I have read the first one in the series and enjoyed it a great deal. This book, however, is a complex and emotionally challenging story. A real work of art.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Some people have to go through bad times first to get to better times, Michael. Some of us get our bad times among the good times. I guess though, we all have bad times in our lives. Jay is very good at spearing your heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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