Father Melancholys Daughter (Co) Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
Godwin brings empathy, understanding and a 19th-century sensibility to this novel of a young woman deeply attached to her father, a moody Episcopalian minister whose wife has abandoned him. This BOMC main selection received a PW boxed review.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Ambitious, wise...unforgettable...an engrossingly good read...a novel that explores timeless concerns of faith, love, and morality." -- -- Atlanta Journal and Constitution
"Brilliant...an elegant, intelligent, and necessary novel--the best book yet from Gail Godwin." -- -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Haunting...superb...the novel dazzles." -- -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Remarkable...I don't know more than a few contemporary novels as full of grace as Gail Godwin's Father Melancholy's Daughter." -- -- USA Today --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Here are two great quotes:
"Not until we accept our shortcomings can we do God's will in the world. Each person has a specific shortcoming to accept and endure and try to work on. It's that person's task, it is my task. And however painful or shameful or just plain aggravating it is to me, or to you, that very shortcoming is a part of my destiny; it may even be inseparable from why I will have been valuable to the human community. Because, by bearing it, learning it from the roots up, letting it speak its message to me, offering it in my mind and my body in which to work itself out, I may be doing my part to heal what is split in the world."
"And now it is our turn to follow Him by seeking to know our own redemptive roles, seeking to find out what is my part, what is your part, your unique part, in the human drama we find ourselves enmeshed in. Don't let yourself be unduly put down by the jeers, but don't be taken in unduly by the laurels and waving of palm branches, either. Just ride your little donkey as best you can, focus daily on those places in your existence where intensity blazes up...and let God do the rest."
This story hinges on the scene where young Margaret childishly tries to "punish" her mother for having to share her mother's affections with her mother's eccentric artist friend who blows into town and changes all their lives. Tragically, it is the last time Margaret sees her mother. It may sound melancholy at first, but there is much more to this story than the tragedy of a girl who loses her mother in childhood.
As all good stories often do, it ends with some surprises, and leaves just the right amount of burning questions unanswered. Look for the sequel, and find Margaret grown up and still struggling with the echoes of her past in "Evensong."
Margaret Gower is the product of an unusual single-parent household. Her mother, Ruth, left town with an old friend, Madelyn Farley, abondoning six-year-old Margaret and Margaret's father, an Episcopal priest prone to bouts of clinical depression. "Father Melancholy's Daughter" tell how Margaret has grown up as her father's daughter, his friend, and sometimes his protector, while the two of them wrestle with the question of why Ruth deserted them--questions that must go unanswered because of Ruth's death in an automobile accident some months after she leaves.
Set in the small Episcopal parish of St. Cuthbert's in a small Southern town, Romulus, "Father Melancholy's Daughter" brilliantly captures both the outward details and the inner truth of the life of faith. I, a lifelong Episcopalian, found every detail to ring absolutely true, from Father Gower's concerns about liturgical revision to the sometimes petty bickerings of his vestry (the parish council in an Episcopal church). Margaret's quest to understand the failure of her parents' marriage, to come to terms with Madelyn Farley, and to find her own identity, takes place within the context of a quest to come to a mature Christian faith of her own.
The characters, like real human beings, are complex and contradictory. As the story unfolds and new revelations about them are made, the reader must constantly expand his understanding of the Gower family, Madelyn Farley, and the parishioners of St. Cuthbert's. They became so real to me that I wished there were some way to introduce Fr.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Having read all of Gail Godwin's novels, I would rank this and Evensong as her best effort in capturing the essence of a half dozen characters - characters we come to care about... Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003
Together with its sequeal, Evensong, this was one of my favorite reads. It had a depth and realism rarely found in fiction with a religious theme. Read morePublished on July 26 2002 by Lena
This book made me feel like Gail Godwin had somehow been watching me--and many of the people I know and love best--all my life. Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2001 by Patty Bradley
This book took a while to get into and it was not in an organized manner. It did not evoke suspense because it gave away the entire story at the beginning of the book. Read morePublished on April 25 2001
I loved this book. I read it as a library book, but now will buy it! As I said in the title, she manages to cover it all, all the questions/quests of life, and does so in an... Read morePublished on April 10 2000
Who is giving this book 4 1/2 stars? This book was PAINFUL! First of all, it is WAY too long for the amount (or lack) of a storyline it contains. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 1999
I first read FMD ten years ago when I was a young mother. I found it hard to read then, with the abandonment of a child so intimately described, but was glad I pressed through to... Read morePublished on Oct. 19 1999
This story may sound melancholy at first, but there is much more to this story than the tragedy of a girl who loses her mother in childhood. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 1999