New Fiction – Father’s Day – Simon Van Booy

Van Booy’s delicate, moving stories have made him beloved among the Indies. Father’s Day is his most narratively straightforward novel and may well be the book that breaks him out to a larger general audience. This story of an uncle who becomes the unlikely parent to an orphaned young niece has its origins in Van Booy’s own experience of raising a daughter on his own after the sudden death of his wife. You can read about this experience in Van Booy’s NYT piece “Raising a Princess Single-Handedly.” If you’ve never read his books before, this is lovely introduction to his wise, heartfelt sensibility.

Initial publicity includes a People magazine review. If you want to hear Van Booy’s thoughts on the book, you can join Boulder Bookstore and KGNU Public Radio in Boulder for a discussion with him on the KGNU Radio Book Club, 5/23/16.

“In Van Booy’s moving, redemptive new novel, a little girl grows into a talented and insightful young woman under the tutelage of her uncle, a disabled, unemployed ex-con with tremendous rage issues. The story unfolds in two timelines, the first of which begins when six-year-old Harvey becomes an orphan, and a rule-bending social worker convinces Harvey’s reluctant Uncle Jason to take in a child he’s never met. The second story line, when Harvey is 26, revolves around Jason’s visit for Father’s Day in Paris, where Harvey lives and works. The novel fleshes out much of the intervening years, with a clean writing style that avoids any mawkishness….Van Booy creates refreshing, humorous, yet poignant childhood milestones that the two reach with emotional honesty. As Jason raises Harvey, he grows as a person, his absolution coming from surprising places.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review and boxed review)

Van Booy’s great triumph comes in using a family secret to underscore the message that family is as much a choice as a blood tie. Although any reader will find something to love here, someone who has benefited from a perfectly imperfect family will wear the widest smile. This little book with a big heart is suitable not just for Father’s Day, but for any day.”
   — Shelf Awareness

“A simply elegant and luminously crafted story of the family that finds us and takes us in at a time of great loss. This story will remind you that there is good in this world and is perfect for anyone that was lucky enough to have a step-parent that took on the adventure with joy!”
–Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Father’s Day: A Novel (9780062408945) by Simon Van Booy. $24.99 hardcover. 4/26/16 on sale.

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