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“Odd Adventures with Your Other Father” by Norman Prentiss

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Odd Adventures with Your Other Father was originally published through the Kindle Scout program, which is perhaps unusual for an established author like the Bram Stoker Award-winning Norman Prentiss. The story has three main characters: Celia and her fathers, Jack and Shawn. Jack died when Celia was little, and Shawn tells her several stories about a summer they spent on a cross-country road trip after graduating from college. These are set within a frame story about Celia enacting a secret plan while she’s away at summer camp.

We learn early on in the book that Jack had a form of telepathy, and other supernatural phenomena exist in the setting as well. The incidents involving these weird happenings are well-written and interesting. But the heart of the story is the family relationships: between Shawn and Celia and between Shawn and Jack. The couple faces ordinary challenges, such as illness and prejudice, alongside the paranormal goings-on. In a similar way, Celia’s own strange experiences relate back to her life with Shawn, her sense of loss over having never really known Jack, the bonds of loyalty and understanding between herself and her best friend.

I did have a couple of stylistic issues with the novel. The primary one is that some of the dialogue doesn’t feel realistic. Elmore Leonard once said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it,” and some of the dialogue here definitely sounds like writing. But while it isn’t perfect, Odd Adventures with Your Other Father is a book with heart, and that counts for a lot.

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  1. Pingback: Pixel Scroll 6/21/19 No, My Toupee Isn’t Slipping, That’s My Emotional Support Tribble | File 770

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