Fiction Review: Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this audiobook up blind at a local library sale because I recognized the author name and, well, I’m not one to leave a cheap audio sitting on the sale table. Maybe this experience will teach me because right about now I’m feeling like I’ve been punched in the heart.
For those who remain unaware, as I was, and would like to remain that way, you may not want to read any further (though I don’t at all recommend this unless you want to send yourself into a debilitating state of depression). I thought I was tough enough to handle anything. Turns out I was not.
This book is about child abduction and does not flinch away from the pain, brainwashing, torture and tragedy inflicted on an innocent five year old for six years by a man who is a monster posing as a preacher. It’s also about the fallout that emotionally ruins the boys’ parents, who at the beginning of the story are deeply in love and very happy, but slowly begin to drift apart from the despair.
If you are feeling just a wee bit too happy with your life and want to tone it down, oh about a zillion notches, this story will do the trick. It is awful. Not the writing but the subject matter. I can almost guarantee that when you finish, you’ll feel worse than this:
I think I am traumatized. I honestly do not know how to rate this story. Devastating things happen in it that will haunt me forever but the writing and the emotions it evokes force me to give it a four and ½ but I can’t really recommend it. If you have children, dogs or a heart you may want to steer clear of it.
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