What’s it about?
Paul James loved Clara Bateman. Hating her would have been easier. She was the past, and he was hell-bent on keeping her there. Or so he thought…
Craigslist Ad: DESPERATELY SEEKING EPIC
You’re my father.I don’t know much about you. I know your name is Paul James, you’re a thrill seeker, and once upon a time you did stunts and people called you ‘Epic.’ I’ve been told you don’t know about me. That it’s complicated. But for me it’s simple. Here’s the thing: I’m twelve years old…and I’m dying. And as much as this could crush my mother, I have to meet you before I go. In time, I’m sure she’ll understand. She’s still in love with you. So, Epic, if you read this, please come back. You don’t have to be my dad. You don’t even have to tell me you love me or you’re sorry. Just come see me.
Patiently waiting, but running out of time,
I did good. I did so good, right until I got to the end. I seriously thought the story would not affect me this time, but this book can be added to the ugly cry-list. Not that I cried, but I did feel overwhelmed by emotion towards the ending.
B.N. Toler made a great impression with her characters and I don’t even know which one I like best. It’s not Paul James however, he did too many wrongs for me to trust him and forgive him entirely (being incommunicado for 13 years is one of them). Clare on the other hand is one admirable lady. Moving states, renovating a house all by herself, just because she believes it’s a shame someone gave up on it, raising a child all on her own, and then now also doing all that she can, staying strong so she can make her sick, dying child happy. She has my deepest respect.
I also really dug Marcus (employee at the skydiving business and best friend). For being such a small person (literally) he has a big personality. At the start he was quite unsympathetic, holding a grudge against Clare and all, but once he learned she was pregnant he became her closest friend. He didn’t have to love and care for her daughter Neena but he did. All these years he was there for them.
The novel starts with Neena trying to find her father before she dies, and the media picking up on it, but the story isn’t about the search for her father at all (like I initially thought) but rather about their relationship now, and I didn’t feel he was a stranger in this family. At the same time it was Neena’s dying wish that she hears her mother and father’s story of the past and she asks a high school journalist to interview and film them both. Little by little, in alternating voices, we learn how they met and their times together build up to the moment he apparently left all these years ago. Through flashbacks, each of them continuing to tell the story where the other left off.
This novel holds a laugh and a tear, it’s a romantic and heart-warming story, but it holds sadness too. Neena’s sickness is like a sword of Damocles hanging over our heads, but what surmounts this pain we will inevitably feel is how beautiful it was to get to know all these characters, to see the love they all share for each other.