Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 24 February 2015
Format: Paperback, 272 pgs
We have all read books about stay-at-home mothers at some point but a perspective from a stay-at-home dad, well not so, at least I have not. Thus, I decided to read this when it was being offered for reviews.
Finding Jake is a story about Simon Connolly, a stay-at-home dad who has decided to ditch his full-time job (well he does work as a freelance writer) to look after his teenage son, Jake, and his younger daughter, Laney. Simon's wife is one of the partners at a law firm and though she gives one an impression she's climbing up the corporate ladder, deep down she cares a lot about her children too.
Initially, Simon struggles to be a full-time dad, after all what would people think about him, and on top of that he doesn't really know child rearing and he always find himself break in sweat chatting up with other stay-at-home mothers. Despite these, he grits his teeth and let on. Plus, it is always a bonus to be able to bond with your children isn't it.
Still, it is always challenging to look after children, let alone a dad with not much experience. Jake is a boy unlike his peers; growing up he's more of a loner and seems to have a mind of his own. Simon dismisses his son's quiet demeanour, thinking it is nothing uncommon and that he is just a boy who dislikes crowds. Until one day there is a mass shooting massacre at his children's school; thirteen students are shot and Jake is nowhere to be found. The police speculated that Jake is one of the shooter's accomplice. For Simon, it is a nightmare and although he thinks Jake isn't a boy who is violent in nature, still he feels himself wavering.
Absorbing and heart wrenching, author Bryan Reardon tells an unforgettable story about fatherhood and his relationship with his children, and how an horrific event forces him to think of Jake's behaviour and the consequences thereafter. At its core this thought-provoking story is very much about how well you know your children and how much do you trust and believe them.
I have to say this book touched me in many ways. How many times have we, as parents, think about our children's behaviours and worry that what we teach or guide them is too much or too little? Too harsh or too lenient? This book is not about preaching, but it has made me think about the characteristics and the qualities of our children and sometimes, we do not often see things the way they are. Being different doesn't mean it is a bad thing, as long as the person doesn't hurt anyone. I closed this book teary-eyed, not only of the beautiful, powerful story but the true meanings behind all. Highly recommended.