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Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin

Father Melancholy's Daughter

by Gail Godwin

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475921,755 (3.93)21
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    Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Two books about southern girls coming of age and facing parental abandonment

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mother runs off at young age girl w/ minister father - his depression "Dark Curtain" - good

Pg 230 people obsessed parents not loving them enough

A bittersweet and ultimately transcendent story of a young girl's devotion to her father, the rector of a small Virginia church, and of the hope, dreams, and love that sustain them both in the wake of the betrayal and tragedy that diminished their family.
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  christinejoseph | Jan 7, 2016 |
Margaret is abandoned by her mother while she is a small child and grows up in a small Virginia town with her father, who is an Episcopal priest and who, even before her mother decamps, is given to bouts of deep depression. At the very beginning of adulthood, Margaret is asking herself what her life will become, puzzling over whether she has any destiny of her own or will continue to serve as a helpmeet to her beloved father.

This book delves deeply into the human spirit and into the sometimes surprising turns of fate that can set our feet on a course of action, or dramatically limit our options. As a character, Margaret is appealing but never predictable (which is a very good thing in a literary character). The novel is character driven, and its strength does not lie in the story but in the natural evolution of action by meticulously drawn characters. ( )
  turtlesleap | Feb 9, 2014 |
I loved this for its depiction of a family and a community. What I will re-read the book for though, are the portraits of Margaret and her father as two intelligent, complex and essentially good human beings trying to make sense of their lives. ( )
1 vote janglen | Jan 30, 2011 |
Abandoned by her mother at age six, Margaret Gower grows up with her loving, but frequently depressed father. An Anglican minister, Father Gower is the quintissential high-church Anglican, and a model of patience and compassion. Like Margaret he has been fundamentally changed by his wife's departure. Margaret is the model devoted daughter, but much responsibility falls on her young shoulders. And much of Margaret's mind is taken up with trying to figure out the enigma that was her mother. Though both Margaret and her father have been deeply wounded by her mother's absence, this is not a story of ruined lives or sadness. It is a beautiful story about a family and a community, and how they deal with loss. ( )
1 vote lahochstetler | Apr 6, 2010 |
Read it years ago but really liked it. ( )
  lizziemc | Oct 11, 2009 |
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To my own Father Melancholy, the sorrowful but animating spirit who dwells within.
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Although I did not know it then, my life of unpremeditated childhood ended on Wednesday, September 13, 1972.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380729865, Paperback)

The novels of Gail Godwin are contemporary classics--evocative, powerfully affecting, beautifully crafted fiction alive with endearing, unforgettable characters. Her critically acclaimed work has placed her among the ranks of Eudora Welty, Pat Conroy, and Carson McCullers, firmly establishing Godwin as a Southern literary novelist for the ages.

Father Melancholy's Daughter, is widely recognized as one of the author's most poignant and accomplished novels -- a bittersweet and ultimately transcendent story of a young girl's devotion to her father, the rector of a small Virginia church, and of the hope, dreams, and love that sustain them both in the wake of the betrayal and tragedy that diminished their family.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:59 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Abandoned by her mother at six, a young girl becomes used to putting her needs after her clergyman father.

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