Father Figure by James J. Cudney

James J. Cudney IV (Jay) has penned a stellar personal-journey fiction novel.   As a fan of searching-for-self stories, where characters pursue truths and eventually realize them, I found Father Figure delivered precisely that—with all the requisite components.

The first few chapters roused distinctive memories and feelings that had long been buried for yours truly and wounds thought closed, proved raw once again.  When an author succeeds in evoking emotion, mission accomplished: the reader has been snared and secured.

The tale entwines the lives of two young women: Amalia in 1984 and 1985, and Brianna in 2004.  Jay has painted them vibrantly, with distinct and different personalities.  He’s captured the conflicting emotions of youthful awkwardness and confusing sexual awakening.  Also effectively depicted are the characters’ personal frustrations and angst, and that “suffering” patience only a loving parent can provide.

Reading Father Figure is like being a fly on a wall; you’re privy to secrets and private/intimate conversations.  Fathers—absent or dead—are key to Amalia and Brianna.  One has lost her beloved dad, the other has yet to find him.  We weave through their lives during crucial periods and in due course discover how they connect—in a rather clever way.

It’s hard not to feel—and despair—for Amalia.  You root for her strength and conviction, and applaud the love she holds for her father despite his flaws and weaknesses.  And you hope (like crazy) she’ll free herself of a self-centered, vicious mother.

Understanding what Amalia has had to endure, it was easy (and emotional) for me to relate to her struggles and emotions.  Brianna was a little more difficult; she was almost too self-absorbed to be likable.  Still, I could appreciate that impassioned search for self and the fixation re finding an unknowable father.

Throughout Father Figure, a strong sense of realism encompasses all senses.  You can see the cityscapes and countryscapes . . . smell grass, freshly baked scones and rich nutty brew . . . hear rural birds and insects, and bustling NYC transit and traffic.

It’s a wonderful, winding tale of quests and findings juxtaposed with twists and turns.  There are happy times and sad ones, and tragic if not terrible moments.  Will Amalia marry her inane beau?  Return to Mississippi to take care of her ailing mother?  Will she find true love with an older gent?  And what about Brianna?  Will she decide her sexual proclivity?  Finally find out about her father?  Return to New York to her mother?  Forgive, but not forget?

The narrative and descriptive components keep the reader engaged.  The novel could have been tightened a tad as it leaned toward long.  But, overall, Father Figure is a compelling suck-you-in-from-the-onset novel.

Rating: star2star2star2star2  4/5 

About the Author

NYC-based Jay is a prolific author and blogger first and foremost, but also a reader and reviewer, thinker, and genealogist and researcher.

After college, he took a technical writing position for a telecom company and spent 15 years developing a career in technology and business ops.  While doing so, he wrote short stories and poems, and—like many—dabbled with the “great American novel”.  Work being what it is, he couldn’t devote the required time to writing, so he left behind the 9-to-5+ world to focus on his passion full-time.

Look for Father Figure, as well as his first well-acclaimed book Watching Glass Shatter, on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney

forreview

Genre: Fiction

Setting: Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania,

Publisher: Creativa (April 3rd, 2018)

# of Pages: 430

ISBN-10: 1980727740

ISBN-13: 978-1980727743

Who Doesn’t Lieb, uh, Love an Unexpected Surprise!?

I was just nominated By James J. Cudney IV (Jay) for the Liebster Award.  I’m a little stunned, but happily so.  I’ll have to confess that I’ve never tagged anyone or done this before, but there’s a first time for everything.  Hopefully, I’ll follow the rules correctly (feel free to send a comment/email if I’ve erred in any way or omitted something).

By the by, if you’re not familiar with Jay’s awesome blog, here’s a little background.  He’s an author/blogger living in NYC, with a great debut novel entitled Watching Glass Shatter.  I’ve had the opportunity to follow most of his “365 Daily Challenge”—daily posts revolving around a key word of the day.  He’s shared much over the last few months—happy times, sad events, insights and knowledge—and I’m glad for having received the opportunity to be a follower.  liebster2

Please check out his website and This is My Truth Now blog at:

https://jamesjcudney.com

https://thisismytruthnow.com

Now, let’s take a gander at the rules and the must-dos, shall we?

The Rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.   

Provide 11 facts about yourself.    

Answer the 11 question the person asked you.    

Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know).   

Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions.    

11 Facts About Me

  1. I’m Canadian, but prefer to write American.  <LOL>
  2. And speaking of American, becoming one has been a dream since the age of 5 (that, my friends, has been a long, long time, and I’ve never ever had a change of heart).
  3. I was one of a few teachers of Simplified English in the aviation world (back when).
  4. Hawaii and the concept of “aloha” are also close to my heart (hence, the setting for my Triple Threat Investigation Agency books).
  5. Favorite things?  The color blue (cyan, to be exact).  Pizza (funghi’s the best).  Red wine (South African and Australian).  Red-velvet cake (nummmmmmmmmmmmmm and screw the calories).  Walking for miles (and miles).  Writing and editing (with no timelines/deadlines).  Perry Mason (from the beginning days to the end).
  6. I adore animals and honor my medicine / animal totems.
  7. Though I often write and say “keep the faith”, I do struggle with it now and again.  (I readily admit that I can be a [maddening] whiner—just ask the Big Guy.  But that’s a secret between you and me and Him.)
  8. I’ve evolved into a sugar junkie over the last year (always enjoyed sweets, but it’s gotten a bit out of hand, er, mouth, er . . . ).
  9. I’m terrible with budgeting and suck at math.  On the flip side, I’m not bad with spending money (check the negative bank account) and do pretty well with anything creative, save for knitting or crocheting.  <LOL>
  10. Being on the ocean is something I adore (though I can’t swim to save my life; fortunately, I can do a mean dog-paddle).
  11. I’ve recently discovered the world of K-Pop.  (Who’d have guessed it would be so good!?  Not this ol’ gal.)

 Questions to You

  1. Which body part would you exchange if you could?
  • My brain/head – like my car, it needs some realignment/tuning (or is that tune-uping?).
  1. What do you like least about blogging?
  • Having to stay on top of all the marketing/promotion and technical/artistic components; that’s a full-time job in itself!
  1. If you could inhabit someone else’s body for a day, who would it be?
  • Today: a world leader or someone in the monarchy—to see what the world of politics and responsibility, or wealth and responsibility entail. If I had to pick someone specific, it would be either President Trump or Queen Elizabeth.
  • Yesteryear: Shakespeare.
  1. If you could have someone else’s personality and intelligence, who would it be?
  • Ayn Rand.
  1. Where are you taking me to dinner tomorrow night? Or if that’s not gonna work for you, what gift are you sending in lieu of canceling last minute on me? Seems appropriate.
  • I’d be taking you for a grand home-cooked meal, but time being what it is, I’d have to give you . . . a dozen calla lilies, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and a box of dark-chocolate Godiva truffles.  Am I forgiven?
  1. Have you ever tried to count the licks to get to the center of the Tootsie Roll Pop?
  • Hate Tootsie Roll Pops (sorry).
  1. Did I share too much above? If yes, which item. If not, you’re my new best friend.
  • Not at all; there’s nothing wrong with sharing.  In fact, it’s a very “healthy” thing to do.
  1. If you could hide in someone’s pocket for a day just to see what they really do when you’re not around, who would it be?
  • That would have to be in the pocket of my favorite character: Rey (from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency). In the real world: I’m a trusting soul, so I wouldn’t have to “see” what anyone’s up to.
  1. If you have an entire cake to yourself, and you know for certain that no one else will eat it nor see you eat it, would you still cut it up and serve it on a plate? Or would you dig in with a shovel? (Assume nothing bad happens to your body as a result of consuming said cake)
  • If it’s red-velvet cake, I’d dig in like a bulldozer!
  1. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “bite me”? Good or bad, let it rip.
  • How hard?  <LOL> 
  1. Have you met Liebster? If Yes, please describe. If No, please contribute $25 to the charity of your choice in order to successfully have completed this easy and fun quiz. Failure to do so results in an automatic replication of 10 more quizzes a day from me to you as a loving gesture of support.
  • Love it.  I promise—a $25 donation will go to an animal charity this week (in fact, I’ll up it to $35)! 

Nominees

https://yeahanotherblogger.com

https://valeriesmusings.com

http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com.au

https://insomniagirl.net

https://ireadwhatyouwrite.wordpress.com

http://storeybookreviews.com

https://booksandopinions.com

https://cozyupwithkathy.blogspot.com

https://www.myrandommusings.co.uk

http://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com

http://bloggernicole.com

Questions to You

  1. If you could go back in time and be present at one major world event, what would that be?
  2. Will you share one of your secrets for success?
  3. What food (dessert, entrée, appetizer) best describes you?
  4. What’s your best “me time” endeavor/pleasure?
  5. If you were a color, which one would you be and why?
  6. Who most influenced you in terms of your writing/blogging career?
  7. If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  8. What’s your current pet peeve?
  9. If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
  10. Do you have a personal proverb, maxim, or motto?
  11. If you could go anywhere in the world or universe, where would that be?

And that, my friends, is that.   . . . Happy Easter everyone!