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Monday, August 16, 2021

What's the Buzz?: DAD: A NOVEL by Steven Manchester - REVIEW!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

So, today's post comes a little later than anticipated and not because it wasn't read in completion, but because our crazy world got in the way.  You know that crazy COVID-19 bug?  Well, I finally caught the sucker...and considering I work all day (almost), every day (almost) in "essential retail", it's probably a miracle in some form it didn't happen before now.  In case you are wondering, YES, I had my vaccine...both doses....back in March/April, so as cruddy as the symptoms are, they could have been much worse, but that being said, it totally threw my work life balance and schedule off track, hence today's post.  HOWEVER, we're still in time for the party and party bookish style is exactly what I intend to do as we take a look at a title OUT TOMORROW via The Story Plant from an author whose work I've been reading for several years now.  Curious?  Inspired?  Ah, well, let me get to the feature and then we'll discuss all of those feels.  Ladies and gents, today's (ALMOST) BOOK BIRTHDAY title in the spotlight is...

Steven Manchester
The Story Plant

About the book...
Three generations of dads, playing traditional roles in each other's lives, arrive simultaneously at significant crossroads. The decisions they make and the actions they take will directly – and eternally – affect each other.

After a life of hard work and raising children, Robert is enjoying his well-deserved retirement when he discovers that he has an illness he might not be able to beat. At 19, Jonah is sprinting across the threshold of adulthood when he learns, stunningly, that he's going to become a father. And Oliver – Robert's son and Jonah's dad – has entered middle age and is paying its demanding price. While reconciling the time and effort it has taken him to reach an unfulfilling career and an even less satisfying marriage, he realizes that it's imperative that he keep it all together for the two men who mean everything to him.

When different perspectives lead to misunderstandings that remain unspoken – sometimes for years – it takes great strength and even more love to travel beyond the resentment.

Dad: A Novel chronicles the sacred legacy of fatherhood.


As I said, this is an author whose work I have been reading for several years.  If you're not familiar with his name or titles, just search it on my site and you'll find several reviews to get you started.  I'm not shy about my love of his earlier releases around the time I first encountered him, nor my admiration though not as all engulfing love for his more recent releases.  Every reader has their own tastes and for me, his later works seem to be more written to climb the charts than they were to remain in our hearts...just my when he approached me about his upcoming release, I was curious.  I mean, I wasn't gun shy, but I was interested to see where this one would fall.  Would it be another bestseller, well written for the masses, or would it harken back to what I consider those golden days of perhaps less bestseller list inclusions, but a more memorable work?  I had to read it to find out.  So, I accepted the offer with much thanks and dove in feet first.  The result?  For me, at least, a place somewhere in-between, but much more like home.   

This is the story of a Dad, or rather DADS.  There's the oldest, not wisest, the current, and struggling, and the soon to be...three generations from one family, all just trying to get it right.  It takes us through their ups and downs, their good days and bad, the beginning of their journey on the road of fatherhood and through their final days, all of which are filled with memorable moments, pearls of wisdom shared, and tears to be shed.  You get the chance to connect with each Dad represented in the now, while discovering where they came from, how it affected the next generation, and even how they plan on utilizing the lessons learned from those experiences to better that of their own children.  

The Grandfather was trying to tie up lose ends, and in doing so uncovered some things his mind had shuffled away.  It gave him time to come to peace with those moments and realize that his son knew he was coming from a place of love, even if he himself was learning along the way.  The current day Dad was actually the most reflective thanks to his own father's condition, but it made for more growth not only in that relationship, but that with his wife and college aged son, both of which were also struggling in their own right.  The son and possibly future father future gave us the youthful aspirations few on the world where he was still lost, still searching for what his life path was, but when the wheel was taken out of his hands, so to speak, he was able to finally listen to those around him, and really take ownership of his life to uncover where he truly wished to be.

All the feelings, all the arguments, all the love shared between these three and the family and friends they interact with along the way, go towards building the relationship and role I believe the author was trying to cement from the start.  A father, a DAD is such a big part of our lives, such a responsibility as well, but one of the greatest roles that can ever be granted.  Just as a mother, a sister, an aunt, an uncle, they serve as someone to guide, grow, teach, and protect.  They are someone to whom we should be able to turn to for love no matter the circumstances, but also the person who has to let go and help us fly.  It's painted beautifully here, and well represented between the generations.  I do believe it will resonate with older teen and adult readers, both male and female, and allow those connections between the reader and the work to linger well beyond the page...and it might, for those in later years, even spark a desire to forge connections previous  thought lost before it's too late.


About the author...

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; and the multi-award winning novels, Goodnight Brian and The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.


Special thanks to author Steven Manchester for the chance to bring this title to you as well as the ecopy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or his full body of works, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available August 17th, 2021, as of this post, so mark your calendar or click on over to your favorite online retailer to pre order your copy today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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