The Dad Who Stayed and other stories

Product Details
$15.99  $14.87
60 East Press
Publish Date
5.25 X 8.0 X 0.65 inches | 0.72 pounds

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About the Author
A native of Boulder, Colorado, David Rodeback spent his youth in rural Idaho and a decade in upstate New York. He now lives in American Fork, Utah.

David Rodeback's novella "The Dad Who Stayed" depicts with hilarity and deep compassion the inner world of a kindergarten-age boy beginning to navigate the outer world, which requires him to form relationships, construct interpretive categories, and find the right questions to ask in order to make sense of everything. The narrator, Joey, is consistently worried and incorrigibly practical, and despite the kindness of almost every adult in his life, there are inevitably times when the gears do not mesh between child and adult thinking. By sticking close in each moment to the protagonist's thought processes, Rodeback demonstrates how children's logically valid reasoning leads them to connections and conclusions that seem from an adult point of view surprising, hilarious, and yet from our own childhood vaguely familiar.

Joey's long struggle to adjust to the prospect of a new stepfather becomes the occasion for a steady and sensitive excavation of loneliness and perplexity as universal experiences. The narrative is perhaps most sad when it depicts Joey's awareness of the difference between his natural emotions and the masks adults sometimes wish he would put on, and it is most delightful when it shows how mountains can turn out to be molehills if you just don't give up. Rodeback never shortchanges the process of slow rocky ascent to successful human relations, and every emotional payoff - whether flash-of-lightning-funny or tearfully joyful - is earned through a rich depth of honesty that is the polar opposite of sentimentalism. "The Dad Who Stayed" makes it seem possible in general to emotionally adapt even to experiences we do not fully comprehend, and in doing so the narrative never stops unfolding new dimensions of the protagonist's experience and our own. (Darrin McGraw, co-author of Animal Future)