My Father’s Words by Patricia MacLachlan is a modern story with the classic elements of loss, family, friendships and growth. While some areas are based on the authors own life, this is a fictious story about a young girl, Fiona, and her family dealing with the loss of her father. Told in Fiona’s voice, we see the past mixed in with the current grief the characters all share. But a grief all must process differently. Like many of MacLachlan’s stories, this is a sweet story. It deals with loss and healing but does in in a gentle manner. MacLachlan writes as your sweet great-aunt and while you know there are issues, it will be “okay” in the end. There is music, jokes and dogs. Lots of dogs (if you are into that sort of thing).
My coworker Linda (in her web and sales floor recommendation) put it this way: When Fiona’s father dies, she and her 5-year-old brother struggle to find meaning in the family’s new life without him. But help soon comes from unexpected places, guiding them to move forward and heal by rediscovering the wisdom their father had imparted to them long ago. A sweet and gentle story!
I put my “gentle and sweet” comments before having read Linda’s (I just knew her review was the one I was going to use). And it truly is that. It brought up a few memories of my mothers’ death, over five years ago. Therefore, the feelings are realistic. And I am assuming McLachlan brought in the feelings she had at the death of her husband as well. Perhaps, some things wrap up “too nicely” but that is her style. She makes sure you come away from a story with hope.