Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Woman’s Fiction
“Cass Adams comes from a long line of crazy, and she fears passing that on to her unborn child. Also, she’s run over Roland and Clay’s surprise half-brother Britt, landing him in the hospital. With her inner demons coming out to haunt her, she doesn’t know if she should keep the baby.
Clay Adams has his own decisions to make. His half-brother shows up to tell him their father, Freddy, is still alive but needs a liver transplant. When Freddy blew out of town thirty-five years ago, secrets were buried. But it’s time for them to be dug up, because only then can Clay hope to lay the past to rest.
Call Me Daddy is a story of family, the secrets they keep, and to what lengths someone would go to protect them.”
“I want readers to take something away from my books and short stories: something memorable, whether it be an interesting protagonist, an emotion or a moment in time. Depending on what characters decide to sit beside me on a particular day, I may write historical fiction or quirky, dark humor.
My interests are as diverse as my writing. I am at home fishing on a river, riding horses in the mountains, reading on a beach, hiking through the desert or playing pirate with my friends. I don't believe in growing old and I refuse to grow up.”
Call Me Daddy is above all a story of family, much like the novelty song “I’m My Own Grandpa” written in 1947 by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe. They got the idea for the song from a book of Mark Twain anecdotes. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist the reference because it made me laugh.
Honestly, though this story isn’t nearly that complicated, but it is tangled, and is certainly not nearly as funny. However, there is a lot of dark humor employed with complicated emotions throughout the story. Ms. Gamble slowly unravels secrets of old friends and family in a delft manner using multiple points-of-view that are clearly marked by chapter headings. This style choice also produced some repetition of facts. I tried to overlook those instances because it lets the reader know that the character was also aware of those same secrets.
Deacon, Kansas is a small town with many memorable quirky personalities. Most are longtime residents that grew up in the area and know everyone else’s business. The twists in the plot are realistic and surprising. There were times the book was hard to put down. Hard decisions had to be made by the Adams’ family members. While others could only watch and be there to pick up the pieces in case things went awry. Call Me Daddy is a poignant story where skeletons are forced out of the closet to dance on the graves of those passed and at times the souls of the living.
I look forward to more stories from Deacon, Kansas. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that this setting is almost in my neck of the woods and the residents seem like family to me. Which may be why I prefer to escape into fantasy and paranormal books. However, Ms. Gamble is quickly becoming a favorite author.
Call Me Daddy is the sequel to They Call Me Crazy, and can be read as a standalone novel.
Original review posted on December 23, 2016.
No significant proofing or formatting issues.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words