Daddy Love

Daddy Love

3.0 14
by Joyce Carol Oates
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Dinah Whitcomb seemingly has everything. A loving and successful husband, and a smart, precocious young son named Robbie. One day, their worlds are shattered when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken in a mall parking lot. Dinah, injured, attempts to follow, but is run over by the kidnapper's van, mangling her body nearly beyond repair.

The kidnapper, a

Overview


Dinah Whitcomb seemingly has everything. A loving and successful husband, and a smart, precocious young son named Robbie. One day, their worlds are shattered when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken in a mall parking lot. Dinah, injured, attempts to follow, but is run over by the kidnapper's van, mangling her body nearly beyond repair.

The kidnapper, a part-time Preacher named Chester Cash, calls himself Daddy Love, as he has abducted, tortured, and raped several young boys into being his lover and as well as his 'son'. He confines Robbie in a device called an Wooden Maiden, in essence a small coffin, and renamed him 'Gideon'. Daddy Love slowly brainwashes 'Gideon' into believing that he is Daddy Love's real son, and any time the boy resists or rebels it is met with punishment beyond his wildest nightmares.

As Dinah recovers from her wounds, her world and her marriage struggle to exist every day. Though it seems hopeless, she keeps a flicker of hope alive that her son is still alive.

As Robbie grows older, he becomes more aware of just how monstrous Daddy Love truly is. Though as a small boy he as terrified of what might happen if he disobeyed Daddy Love, Robbie begins to realize that the longer he stays in the home of this demon, the greater chance he'll end up like Daddy Love's other 'sons' who were never heard from again. Somewhere within this tortured young boy lies a spark of rebellion...and soon he sees just what lengths he must go to in order to have any chance at survival.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
After all these years, Joyce Carol Oates can still give me the creeps…Oates is a mind-reader who writes psychological horror stories about seriously disturbed minds, and it's hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love. But her insights into nice, ordinary people—the kind of people Robbie's parents used to be, before their son was stolen—are no less incisive.
Publishers Weekly
At the start of this gripping psychological thriller from Oates (The Gravedigger’s Daughter), Dinah Whitcomb is playing the “find our car” game with her five-year-old son, Robbie, in the parking lot of an Ypsilanti, Mich., mall when a stranger seizes the boy and runs over Dinah in his van, maiming her. Robbie is renamed Gideon by Daddy Love, his abductor, who has kidnapped several little boys through the years, killing them when they’re adolescents and “too old” for him. The outside world knows Daddy Love as Chet Cash, a loving father, a sensitive artist, and itinerant preacher. Spanning six years, the action shifts between Gideon and Daddy Love, who’s quick to mete out cruel punishments, and Dinah and her husband, bonded by guilt in a crumbling marriage. The creep factor ramps up when the intuitive Gideon realizes that he’s not Daddy Love’s only “son” and the fate that awaits him. This unsettling tale showcases Oates’s masterful storytelling. Agent: Warren Frazier, John Hawkins & Associates. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Oates raises a troubling question here--whether moral fiction can emerge out of a morally reprehensible character. Chester Cash, aka Daddy Love, is an itinerant preacher with a penchant for abducting and torturing young boys, and the novel begins with one such abduction. Five-year-old Robbie Whitcomb is doted on by his mother, Dinah, but one day, in the parking lot of a shopping mall, she neglects her son just long enough to have him spirited away by Daddy Love. In trying to prevent this horrifying act from occurring, Dinah is run over by Love's van and never physically recovers. Love makes off with Robbie and eventually moves him from Michigan to New Jersey, where they live in virtual seclusion. Love gives out that he's a widower who doesn't want to talk about his late wife--a statement which is, by the way, true--and a suspicion lingers in our minds that he might well have murdered his wife, a well-to-do woman about 40 years older than Love. Through confinement and humiliation, Robbie is trained to see the preacher as his "real" father, although Love, like his ironic name, is obviously a grotesque perversion of paternal solicitude. He deprives Robbie of food, confines him in a "truth box" and sexually abuses him. After six years, Robbie is able to escape and reunite with his parents. Dinah is jubilant about this reunion, though Whit, Dinah's husband, is somewhat less so, in part because his status as the father of a missing child made him a quasi-celebrity. But Robbie, of course, is not the same child at 11 that he was at 5, and their family reconnection is, to put it charitably, uneasy. This is an uncomfortable novel to read; Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love's twisted and warped perspective.
New York Times
“Oates’s disturbing tale is chillingly conveyed in this audio edition thanks to Christine Williams’s compelling narration.”
Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher
“Oates makes us squirm as she forces us to see some of the action through Love’s twisted and warped perspective.”
Kirkus

“Oates is a mind-reader who writes psychological horror stories about seriously disturbed minds, and it’s hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love. But her insights into nice, ordinary people—the kind of people Robbie’s parents used to be, before their son was stolen—are no less incisive.”
New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802120991
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Joyce Carol Oates is the author of such national best-sellers as The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys. She has been nominated for six National Book Awards, winning for Them.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Princeton, New Jersey
Date of Birth:
June 16, 1938
Place of Birth:
Lockport, New York
Education:
B.A., Syracuse University, 1960; M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Daddy Love 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Gram948 More than 1 year ago
JCO always intrigues and startles. This is a despicable story, but occurs more often than we wish to believe. The back ground story of /the parents is sad and disturbing. This book is not for everyone to be sure, but I love Oates' style. What an ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. I was a bit confused by the ending but JCO is sometimes not one wrap everything up in a neat bow.
scarlett77 More than 1 year ago
Joyce Carol Oates does it again. This book is tense, continually engaging with a surprise ending. No matter what you think the end will be while reading - that will not be the ending. Her books are always well developed, with great characterization, intelligent and a surprise as each book is completely different from her other books. She has no "formula" despite her prolific writing. Read this one - expect to be disturbed...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a dumb book. It was neither titillating, suspensful, gory or scary. It was a story about a child abduction. None of the characters were believable or even that likeable and the storyline was slooooow. Don't waste your money
acorley84 More than 1 year ago
This Audio CD was provided to me by HighBridge Audio courtesy of Audio Jukebox in return for an honest, unbiased review. This was my first Joyce Carol Oates book and definitely won't be my last. I found the writing to be concise and well-developed with what seemed to be great detail to each of the characters. I enjoyed that the main characters were more taboo than your regular main character! The story seemed like an actual story straight out of the headlines which is exactly what caught and kept my attention! I also really liked how the ending worked out! The narrator did a wonderful job of reading this story! She was able to really capture my attention and maintain it throughout the entire story.  Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this book and will not hesitate to seek out more Joyce Carol Oates books in the near future!
BrandyGirl More than 1 year ago
I never read this author before but I really enjoyed this. I like good drama stories and this was one. I will be reading her new book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big JCO fan but this was not my favorite book by her, thus the 4/5 stars. I found it to be more deeply disturbing than some of her other novels and although I am really not worthy to critique her writing I did not feel that this book was as well written as a typical JCO novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Daddy Love. What ever compelled JCO to write a novel like this? I found it sickening. I did not finish this book. Don't waste your time or money on this one. Ms. Oates, really could you not have done any better? A sick mind writes of sick and perverse themes. F
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very sick &disturbing read. Could not finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was not a very good book. The information listed on the back said it was "thrilling and suspenseful." I found it to be redundant and less than enjoyable. I had the audiobook and and found the narrator to be  dull but some of it may be that the material wasn't that great. I'd like to give this author another chance  and read other books. We'll see. I would not recommend this book to others....sorry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disturbing......open ending......not worth $2 let alone the $13 i paid!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By