Author James J. Cudney has done it again with his second book Father Figure. His debut Watching Glass Shatter was a great family saga, and I wondered if he could re-create the magic with his words. But this time, he has surpassed his own debut.
The story follows the lives of two women Amalia in Mississippi in 1984 and Brianna in New York in 2004. Amalia is abused by her mother on a daily basis, yet she finds her happiness in her father’s love and her escape in Pennsylvania College campus. Life in college was charming with a boyfriend, till attraction strikes her down in the form of a suave, older man whom she cannot resist. But tragedy follows her, her father dies, and a soul-shattering event later forces her to leave everything behind and go back to her abusive mother. Till she realizes it’s all too late, there are always repercussions.
Brianna, a happy go lucky protected nineteen year, is going through her own angst, her need to discover herself, and her growing attraction for best friend Shanelle, but there is one question which shatters her peace of mind – who is her father?
In a need to find out the truth, Brianna goes on a path of discovery which leads to heart rendering shocks, the spasms of which are felt into the present, but whose roots are sunk way into the past.
The author James Cudney has written the story in the alternating voices of Amalia and Brianna. What struck me most was the way he has described both the women, their thoughts, their characterizations, their attitude, their dialogs. They were both so very different in all ways, living in different time zones too, but James has seen to it that he doesn’t falter anywhere down the line. His eye for detail is astonishing. Making the two women different and maintaining that difference throughout the chapters, and at the same time, showing the parallels of their lives was massively impressive. (I did want to catch him making a mistake, but unfortunately he doesn’t)
The plot of the story takes its own winding road down the pathways of life for the two women, each one going through her own ups and downs, happiness and shocks, some of them earth shattering.
What blew me away for the second time was the way James has described this horrific event, taking care to write with great sensitivity, without going into the gruesomeness, yet managing to maintain the aura of fear, pain, and helplessness that the scene required. His words caused the goosebumps to rise, but kept me gripped in the throes of emotions of that scene, till tears just flowed. His sheer mastery over the prose shone brilliantly in this piece of writing. I had to take a few deep breaths before I could continue reading.
The third thing which struck me gently down the book, was the dignity and courage that Brianna’s mother showed in the story, bringing her up as a single parent, working long hours, trying to fulfil her needs. Her character was softly weaved but yet managed to pave a way for herself.
The paths of the two women collide, and the story reaches an adrenaline infused ending, where the threads of the past all retract, showing the ultimate truth, which is life threatening for one.
This book is a story of courage and fortitude shown by 2 women forging a stronger tomorrow, written with a quiet strength and sensitivity by author James J Cudney. An amazing book from start to finish.
The only niggle I had was the book was pretty long, just like my review!!
My rating : 4.5 stars
Publication date : 3rd April, 2018
Publisher : Creativia
Language : English
Available on Amazon; free on kindle Unlimited
A brilliant emotional read