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Our Father

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"FRENCH'S MOST FOCUSED, DARING, AND POWERFUL NOVEL." --New Woman Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has suffered a stroke, and his four very different daughters gather in his perfectly appointed mansion outside Boston to await his death or recovery. Elizabeth, cold and calculating, fights hard for every success and pays a high price; beautiful Mary has always needed a "FRENCH'S MOST FOCUSED, DARING, AND POWERFUL NOVEL." --New Woman Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has suffered a stroke, and his four very different daughters gather in his perfectly appointed mansion outside Boston to await his death or recovery. Elizabeth, cold and calculating, fights hard for every success and pays a high price; beautiful Mary has always needed a man to support her tastes, but time is catching up with her; Alex can't remember her childhood and wants to know why; and Ronnie, illegitimate and proud, refuses to acknowledge her feelings for the man they all love and hate. In the weeks to come, they will learn one another's terrible secrets, and the astonishing truth about the life they might have shared.... Once again, Marilyn French has written an extraordinary novel of our times--a novel of family love and resentment, of sisterhood and fatherhood, of acceptance and rejection and the search for peace. "SHOULD STRIKE A CHORD WITH EVERY WOMAN who is willing to think honestly about the place of femaleness in the world." --Chicago Tribune


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"FRENCH'S MOST FOCUSED, DARING, AND POWERFUL NOVEL." --New Woman Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has suffered a stroke, and his four very different daughters gather in his perfectly appointed mansion outside Boston to await his death or recovery. Elizabeth, cold and calculating, fights hard for every success and pays a high price; beautiful Mary has always needed a "FRENCH'S MOST FOCUSED, DARING, AND POWERFUL NOVEL." --New Woman Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has suffered a stroke, and his four very different daughters gather in his perfectly appointed mansion outside Boston to await his death or recovery. Elizabeth, cold and calculating, fights hard for every success and pays a high price; beautiful Mary has always needed a man to support her tastes, but time is catching up with her; Alex can't remember her childhood and wants to know why; and Ronnie, illegitimate and proud, refuses to acknowledge her feelings for the man they all love and hate. In the weeks to come, they will learn one another's terrible secrets, and the astonishing truth about the life they might have shared.... Once again, Marilyn French has written an extraordinary novel of our times--a novel of family love and resentment, of sisterhood and fatherhood, of acceptance and rejection and the search for peace. "SHOULD STRIKE A CHORD WITH EVERY WOMAN who is willing to think honestly about the place of femaleness in the world." --Chicago Tribune

30 review for Our Father

  1. 5 out of 5

    Di

    What a disappointment. Feminist icon and author of "The Women's Room" writes about feminism in Nicey Nice Land - where Mrs Somebody (the domestic servant) serves an omelet to the lunch guests and everyone "changes for dinner". It's also where the perpetrator of repeated, regular incestuous rape with his daughters (one only an infant) is loved and treated with respect and decency. Sadly, I think this book is an insult to all women and rape victims in particular.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Interesting read to witness how childhood identity prevails through money, power, love and heartbreak.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paula Dembeck

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has a stroke and his four grown daughters (by four different mothers) gather at his Boston mansion to await his death or recovery: Lizzie, the eldest, well educated, cold and calculating; Mary with seven marriages and now money problems; Alex, who no one knows because she left the house when she was very young; and the illegitimate Ronnie the “Chicano” no one knows about—the result of a long relationship their father had with the mansion’s housekeeper. The Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has a stroke and his four grown daughters (by four different mothers) gather at his Boston mansion to await his death or recovery: Lizzie, the eldest, well educated, cold and calculating; Mary with seven marriages and now money problems; Alex, who no one knows because she left the house when she was very young; and the illegitimate Ronnie the “Chicano” no one knows about—the result of a long relationship their father had with the mansion’s housekeeper. They learn they were all sexually abused by their father and that when he dies, they will all inherit a great deal of money. This is a story of how a family keeps secrets. Although each of the sisters start out hating one another, they all eventually develop close sisterly ties through this experience at his bedside.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Cougler

    Wow! What an insightful book. From the outset French packs a wallop and this continues, building suspensefully, to the end. Four half sisters who have been raised by a brute of a father come together on the occasion of his major stroke. Having been raised separately and with hate, they begin their journey into discovery with rancor and plenty of bitter words. Gradually this passes and is replaced by an acceptance of and even love for each other. Great story laced with lots of political and philo Wow! What an insightful book. From the outset French packs a wallop and this continues, building suspensefully, to the end. Four half sisters who have been raised by a brute of a father come together on the occasion of his major stroke. Having been raised separately and with hate, they begin their journey into discovery with rancor and plenty of bitter words. Gradually this passes and is replaced by an acceptance of and even love for each other. Great story laced with lots of political and philosophy of life themes. French is an author I will be seeking out again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte

    Dit is de allereerste keer dat een boek halverwege het lezen weer de kast ingaat.....Heb mezelf tot bladzijde 270 geworsteld. Wat een verschrikkelijk saai en langdradig boek ! Hoe erg ik het ook vind wat de (half-)zussen in dit boek is overkomen, ik vond de dames geen van allen sympathiek. Zodra ik merk dat ik er tegenop zie om een boek te lezen, moet ik mezelf echt aan leren om mezelf gewoon een plezier te doen en te stoppen met het boek te lezen puur uit beleefdheid naar de schrijver / schrijf Dit is de allereerste keer dat een boek halverwege het lezen weer de kast ingaat.....Heb mezelf tot bladzijde 270 geworsteld. Wat een verschrikkelijk saai en langdradig boek ! Hoe erg ik het ook vind wat de (half-)zussen in dit boek is overkomen, ik vond de dames geen van allen sympathiek. Zodra ik merk dat ik er tegenop zie om een boek te lezen, moet ik mezelf echt aan leren om mezelf gewoon een plezier te doen en te stoppen met het boek te lezen puur uit beleefdheid naar de schrijver / schrijfster.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tasnima

    At first this book seemed really fractured and fll of hate and snobbery. I was not even sure why I was reading it! Then things came together and it became a joy to read. I like the way that feminism is presented--not some sort of logical argument, but gently creeping in as inevitable, undeniable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    you know those conversations you have in your head about your life and the people in it.. multiply that by 4...as these women overcome their differences as they overcome their past and their differences to find that sisterhood may be a love worth having.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    An abridged version would be far preferred! The dialogue is tedious due to the tiresome themes of anger, resentment and victimization.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nadelle Sage

    An interesting read but not something that really grabbed me. It feels like too much emphasis is put on race and class and not enough on story. Not something I would recomend.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Femke

    Beautiful

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marianna

    An eye opening read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Mcphail-Lambert

    Wow! French hits the reader upside the head with family issues & just keeps at it right through to the final page! Loved the characters, plot, setting, themes, etc. Enjoyed it immensely! Wow! French hits the reader upside the head with family issues & just keeps at it right through to the final page! Loved the characters, plot, setting, themes, etc. Enjoyed it immensely!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sondra

    Four lively, intelligent, and attractive women, ranging in age from early twenties to late fifties, all of whom were fathered by the same man with four different mothers, gather at their dying father’s estate on the outskirts of Boston to grieve over the old man’s impending demise. Estranged from one another since childhood, the four half-sisters are hostile to one another until they learn, through a combination of conversation and intuition, that they all share the same horrific family secret. Four lively, intelligent, and attractive women, ranging in age from early twenties to late fifties, all of whom were fathered by the same man with four different mothers, gather at their dying father’s estate on the outskirts of Boston to grieve over the old man’s impending demise. Estranged from one another since childhood, the four half-sisters are hostile to one another until they learn, through a combination of conversation and intuition, that they all share the same horrific family secret. Having all been scarred by the same severe childhood trauma, the sisters slowly learn to overcome their differences and bond with one another in a way that allows them to experience family closeness for the first time in their lives. Having previously read author Marilyn French’s first and most widely read novel "The Women’s Room", I was already familiar with French’s intense brand of feminism when I started reading "Our Father". The message is clear from the very first chapter: The patriarchal family system under which our civilization has existed for hundreds of years is responsible for a multitude of sins that leave deep scars not only on the women and children who are its primary victims, but on the men as well. While I might not agree totally with the author's feminist manifesto, I have no doubts as to her talents as an author and novelist. As in every profession, experience tells, and I found this novel far superior to the previous one. When I read "The Women’s Room" several years ago, I gave the book only three stars for what I believed was a lack of style and a somewhat sloppy construction. "Our Father" is a great improvement. The characters are more sharply drawn, the setting more descriptive, and the plot suspenseful and tightly constructed. The feminist message is delivered with a lighter touch that does not completely overwhelm the merits of the story as a work of fiction. Even traditionalists and non-feminists could enjoy this book as a compelling work of fiction. In addition to being a well-crafted and absorbing novel, "Our Father" deserves kudos for shedding light on a cultural taboo that is far more common and far more damaging to the female psyche than most people would choose to believe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne Slater

    More than a beach book, less than masterpiece, this is a book for women who are thinking, or who have thought, about what it means to be "feminist", indeed simply to be a female person in the world of a very strong man. What drew me in immediately was the way French gives each of the sisters her own voice; the way she makes them argue with each other, with themselves; the way she makes them really see that together they are stronger than they could ever have imagined. The dirty secret hidden in th More than a beach book, less than masterpiece, this is a book for women who are thinking, or who have thought, about what it means to be "feminist", indeed simply to be a female person in the world of a very strong man. What drew me in immediately was the way French gives each of the sisters her own voice; the way she makes them argue with each other, with themselves; the way she makes them really see that together they are stronger than they could ever have imagined. The dirty secret hidden in the story comes out appropriately slowly; there are startling moments of insight and anger; there is a part that I won't even give an adjective to; there is a false start at the very end, and then a reprise of sisterhood's wonderful thrall. A worthwhile read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne Mcginnes

    I hadn't read Marilyn French before but I knew of her reputation as an icon of feminism. This book was a compulsive read but I feel it could have been a much better book if French would refrain from preaching and let her characters do the work. The four women are such stereotypes that it was difficult to relate to any of them as people. There were times as their relationship developed that I thought I could warm to them, but then French destroyed the moment with unrealistic preachy dialogue and a I hadn't read Marilyn French before but I knew of her reputation as an icon of feminism. This book was a compulsive read but I feel it could have been a much better book if French would refrain from preaching and let her characters do the work. The four women are such stereotypes that it was difficult to relate to any of them as people. There were times as their relationship developed that I thought I could warm to them, but then French destroyed the moment with unrealistic preachy dialogue and argument.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janet Adkins

    I found this book irritating to read. Not much of anything happened for the first 2/3 of the book. However I was a bit curious so I did finish the book. The last 1/3 of the book was more interesting to read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Morick

    A dark tale of sexual abuse

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tone Elisabeth Furre

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Minchin

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joëlle Meijer

  21. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marijoke

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ditte

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bookmadness

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kimm

  28. 4 out of 5

    Terry

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shoham Letzter

  30. 4 out of 5

    A E

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