Father of the Rain

Father of the Rain

by Lily King


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Prize-winning author Lily King’s masterful new novel spans three decades of a volatile relationship between a charismatic, alcoholic father and the daughter who loves him.

Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first eleven years of her life negotiating her parents’ conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner’s basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it.

As she reaches adulthood, Daley rejects the narrow world that nourished her father’s fears and prejudices, and embarks on her own separate life—until he hits rock bottom. Lured home by the dream of getting her father sober, Daley risks everything she's found beyond him, including her new love, Jonathan, in an attempt to repair a trust broken years ago.

A provocative story of one woman's lifelong loyalty to her father, Father of the Rain is a spellbinding journey into the emotional complexities and magnetic pull of family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802119490
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 07/06/2010
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lily King’s first novel, The Pleasing Hour won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her second book, The English Teacher , was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, and the winner of the Maine Fiction Award.

Lily is the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and a Whiting Award. Her short fiction has appeared in literary magazines including Ploughshares and Glimmer Train , as well as in several anthologies. She lives with her family in Maine.

Visit Lily's website at lilykingbooks.com

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Father of the Rain 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written.inspirational...makes one think and understand a father and daughter relationship..especially those who have been surrounded by alcholics in their life.a personal insightful journey that hits closer to home than many of us want to admit...I love how the book is divided into the different eras of Daylee's life....We understand so much in the conclusion and how Daylee's life with her parents has created a strong woman, mother, wife and daughter...she's a giver and her father is a giver in his own world...Daylee and her brother, Garvey, carry the bits of love they do remember and tie their hearts to those strings to propel them into functional adult lives. I loved it...
CherishD More than 1 year ago
Page turner with such a unique style and story...and an ending that floored me. 
Anonymous 5 months ago
The title caught my eye, the book took me by surprise. I found myself wanting to see “what happens next”, becoming invested in the characters, the story, finding it true, not trite. Definitely worth the time it demands.
teresa1953 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Divorce is never easy on children. They often find it difficult to split their love two ways. Daley Amory is no exception. At eleven years of age, she watches her mother move on to a happy new relationship, but her father, Gardiner, is bitter and angry. He is also a drunk. Gardiner's alcoholism has always been a "fact of life" for Daley. He could be huge fun one minute and a raging, malignant fool the next. So when Daley has the opportunity to go away to college, she doesn't hesitate to take it. She excels academically and discovers the stability of a warm and loving relationship with her boyfriend Jonathan. They are on the brink of moving to the West Coast of America where Daley has gained a professorship in anthropology...the pinnacle of her career. When everything looks as if it is going right for them, the spectre of her father looms again when Daley receives the news of his descent into deep depression. His second wife has left him and he has lost the will to live. Against her better judgement, Daley makes a detour to New England to try and pick up the pieces of her father's shattered life, before meeting up with Jonathan at Berkeley. I found this book truly absorbing. The author manages to convey the desperation and conflict of trying to maintain a bond with an alcoholic parent. Daley wants to do the best she can for Gardiner, but there is only so much one human being can take and the voice of reason in her head urges her to flee and turn her back on her father. In truth, Gardiner seems beyond help.. Her friends and her lover want her to walk away, but the family tie is strong. Daley believes she can help her father to recover and sacrifices her new job and her relationship with Jonathan to stay and care for him. This part of the novel is heart breaking and very well written. "Father of the Rain" is a very accomplished novel which beautifully illustrates the emotional rollercoaster of living with alcoholism and the strong pull of family duty. Is Gardiner a lost cause? Can Daley succeed in her endeavours? From the first quote at the beginning of the book to the quiet last page I was completely hooked!This book was made available to me, prior to publication, for an honest review.
Bellettres on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lily King is a gifted writer. I like coming-of-age novels, and this one enhances the traditional genre by focusing largely on Daley as an adult daughter of an alcoholic father. I agree with an earlier reviewer that Jonathan is perhaps just a little too patient and forbearing to be true, but I would probably have been disappointed if he had been otherwise. I love the way King respects language: her choice of words, her images, her phrasing are impeccable. Her characters have depth, and they move in and out of Daley's life in a way that reflects how relationships really develop over time. Definitely worth reading!
hashford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Father of the Rain by Lily King ¿ an emotional book about family relationshipsThis story takes the reader on a journey through 3 periods in the life of Daley Amory; it is largely told in sequential order without any irritating jumps in time, making it easy to follow.We start in Daley¿s early teens, when her mother leaves her father; this is a very painful period for Daley, adjusting to life with her mother and fitting in with her father¿s new family. We get a clear picture of her father and stepmother, both drunks, neither very good at child care; and of how hard it is for Daley to keep moving between weekends/holidays with them and weeks alone with her mother.The second part of the book moves on to Daley¿s late 20¿s, when she has completed her PhD, has a warm and loving relationship, and is about to move to a prestigious job at Berkeley and a new life in California with her partner, Jonathan. Just at this point her brother calls; her father is in crisis. She rushes home intending to stay only a few days, but finds that her father needs her and she is unwilling to leave so quickly. But to stay would mean losing her new job, and maybe even sacrificing her relationship.The third part of the book moves on several years, but I won¿t say too much for fear of introducing spoilers.I enjoyed this book a great deal more than I expected. I chose it off Vine with some reservations (best of a selection I was lukewarm about, rather than with a ¿must have¿ feeling), but I am really glad that I did. I loved the writing style; it is fluid and easy to read and the characters are mostly believable. More importantly, I was carried along by the story (and, indeed, sat up late into the night reading it!). I felt I was sharing Daley¿s concerns about her relationships with her father, her brother and her lover (this is very much a book about how a woman comes to terms with herself and her interactions with the men in her life ¿ the female characters are more lightly drawn), and I even felt I could sympathise with her decisions, though I am pretty sure I wouldn¿t have made the same choices!A 4½* read for me, I hold back from the full 5*s because I felt it was slightly ¿rose-tinted¿ in places; Jonathan, for instance, is just a little too nice to be true (but then, maybe I¿m just jealous!). However, warmly recommended to anyone who likes reading about family relationships and the choices and compromises we all have to make.
dreamreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
We read to know we're not alone, don't we? I finished this book the morning of September 6, before visiting the grave of my father who died suddenly forty-five years ago, two days before I started junior year of high school. Missing the father I adored has shaped every emotion, action, and relationship of my life, and so I believe and understand how Daley Amory put her own aspirations on hold to resurrect the father she was missing, and what she had with him until early adolescence. Beneath the hard shell of this cruel alcolohic, Daley Amory sees a father still worth loving, a relationship worth resurrecting, a broken and lonely man who's shattered so many lives and yet deserves to be saved. His drinking buddies won't do it, nor will the son or ex-wives he's driven away. He lavishes praise and affection only on his dogs, until he realizes his daughter also loves him unconditionally. So strong the bond between daughter and father - Lily King really gets it. I treasured every word and applaud her for delivering such a richly satisfying character study.
ccayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is beautifully written book dealing with family ties which can bind irrationally. The setting is waspy New England money where drinking, even to excess, is acceptable as long as you are charming most of the time. Daley's father falls in that category and although she has not seen him for over 20 years, when his most recent wife leaves him, she returns home at a great cost to her. King creates page turning suspense as the push and pull drama between father and daughter evolves.
suballa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Daley Amory is eleven years old when her mother leaves her father. Caught in the middle between her social activist mother and her bigoted, alcoholic father, Daley struggles to find a balance in her life. As her father¿s bitterness leads him to the bottle more and more, the emotional abuse he unleashes on Daley increases. As an adult, Daley rejects her father¿s values (or lack thereof), and starts her life far from his anger and prejudice. When her father¿s lifestyle catches up with him and he hits rock bottom, Daley¿s brother leaves her with the burden of picking up the pieces. The subject matter may be difficult for some, but this is a thoroughly engrossing and satisfying story. The writing in this novel is mesmerizing, and the characters are so well developed I frequently thought to myself `thank God I don¿t know anyone like them¿.
SueRidnour on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lariat List 2010, fathers and daughters, family, alcoholism, Massachusetts
dawnlovesbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this was an amazing book. i sat down and read it in one day. king's writing was flawless!
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