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Father's Day

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  729 ratings  ·  157 reviews
The moving story of an orphaned girl named Harvey and the troubled uncle who raises her—an unforgettable tale of loss and redemption from the author of The Illusion of Separateness

At the age of six, a little girl named Harvey learns that her parents have died in a car accident. As she struggles to understand, a kindly social worker named Wanda introduces her to her only li
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Harper
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  729 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Angela M
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a too sentimental, overly unrealistic story in a the hands of a less skilled writer but it wasn't. That's not to say that it wasn't sentimental . It was , but for me the sentimentality was just enough to get me . Perhaps the twist at the end was a bit unrealistic, but I was glad that I didn't quite guess it . What I found to be realistic were the characters that I quickly became attached to and their genuine relationship.

This is the story of a man fighting his demons, an an
Larry H
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Six-year-old Harvey (an odd name for a girl, but it is what it is) is living the life of a typical child when her world is turned upside down, with the sudden death of her parents. The machinations of Wanda, a seasoned social worker, lead Harvey to her uncle Jason, her father's older brother, whose troubled past and criminal history kept him a stranger from his family.

Jason is utterly unprepared to become a father. Lonely, reeling from a traumatic childhood and a difficult adulthood, and living
Roger Brunyate
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Father's Day Fable

Anyone who has read Simon Van Booy's two previous novels or exquisite short stories will know his style. Short declarative sentences, with few subsidiary clauses; adjectives and adverbs serving a precise purpose or omitted entirely; few Latinate words. Not everyone will like it; it is language stripped to its bare essentials. I find it refreshing though: clear cool water on a hot day. Here is how this latest book begins:
Harvey was born in a redbrick hospital on a hill. It was
Erika Robuck
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have been a long-time fan of Simon Van Booy; his novel, EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL BEGAN AFTER, is one of my favorite books. His latest novel FATHER'S DAY moves between the present and past of Harvey, a young American woman working in Paris, and Jason, the man who adopted her as a child. This juxtaposition of time and point of view gives the narrative a natural balance and momentum.

I had the pleasure of attending Van Booy's reading at Politics and Prose last week, and I was struck by several things:
Jessica Jeffers
Everything Beautiful Began After was one of the most affecting books I read in 2011. I was in a weird place in my life when I stumbled across it and picked it up based solely on the title. It hit all the right nerves inside my body in the right way and I truly connected to it. It didn’t hurt that Simon Van Booy knew how to do flowery prose in an effective and not overly syrupy way.

Sooooo, I picked up this ARC off of Edelweiss based solely on the fact that I loved that first book so much.

I wann
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Father's Day by Simon Van Booy is a very highly recommended story about a father and daughter that follows two timelines.

The novel opens as Harvey, a little girl, is remembering scenes around her as a very young girl. Then we jump twenty years ahead into the future when Harvey at age 26 is living in Paris, and planning a special week of activities for her father, who is coming to visit her over Father's Day. Harvey has a box of gifts that symbolize some important moment in their lives together.
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
Harvey is an adorable, rather bratty six-year-old girl when her parents are killed in a car accident. Aside from ancient maternal grandparents, her closest relative is her dad's brother, Jason, who has refused to have anything to do with family for far longer than Harvey is old. He's been in prison for violent assault, has lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, and ekes out a reclusive living selling stuff on eBay. A wonderful social worker reaches out to him about taking custody of his niece. Jas ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved listening to this book! It's hard to know if I would have felt so connected to all the characters if I had read it because the reader was absolutely amazing and awesome! A simple story told quite elegantly of the transformative power of loving a child as a parent! The author has described the characters quite well as I have worked with a marginalized population affected by generational addiction for the last 21 years. Whether it is a contrived maudlin story I don't care I just enjoyed it ...more
Jenifer Jacobs
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I am now a blubbering idiot walking down the street as I finish this wonderful audiobook. I love the story and the characters so much. My only complaint is that it is too short and I miss them terribly. The narrator of this book was wonderful!
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
I bought this book after attending a book reading and Q&A with the author. The author read two or three chapters that concerned the social worker Wanda trying to get Jason to want to become the guardian of Harvey, the six-year old niece he did not know he had, after her parents were killed in an auto accident. I was surprised when I read the book that a lot happened before we learn about the parents' death, so the first twist was revealed by the author (and the marketing).

The meat of the st
The Short of It:

A quiet non-traditional story about a father’s love for his daughter.

The Rest of It:

Harvey is just a young girl when her parents are killed in an accident. After the accident, Harvey is placed with Jason, her uncle, who was recently released from prison for a crime he committed as a teen. The two have a lot to learn and with the help of his social worker, Jason learns that fathers aren’t perfect and that the love of a child is something you have to hold dear.

I really enjoyed this
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
I have really REALLY enjoyed Van Booy’s prior books, but I found it incredibly difficult to stay engaged with this story. When Harvey’s parents are killed, a warmhearted social worker enlists Harvey’s father’s estranged ex-con brother, Jason, to raise her. Well, there is no one as utterly clueless as Jason when it comes to raising a child, and his ineptitude makes him seem like a bad caricature. Why any social worker would champion his cause is beyond me. He doesn’t seem to know that a kid can’t ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is not my first book that I've read by this author and won't be my last. This writer has the unique ability to grasp me, and reel me in, almost as if he's sitting next to me and speaking. How can you not read his work and not think that he's lived this. A heartwarming story that brought tears to my eyes in so many places. Jason and Harvey lives could have ended up so differently had they not found each other. Heart felt, conversational, quiet, with a twist. How could we ask for anything mor ...more
Marlene England
I'm all about a good family story - and this one IS good, just not as exceptional as I'd hoped it would be. Interesting characters, some poignant scenes - although a few things didn't quite ring true for me - and a heartwarming look at what it means to be family and the sacrifices you make for those you love. To me, the plot twist at the end seemed unnecessary and a bit contrived. All in all, though, a pleasant read.
Scriptor Ignotus
I watched Simon van Booy give a TED Talk on YouTube about novel writing, and I found him sufficiently charming, eccentric, and similar in appearance to Johnny Depp that I decided to give one of his novels a try. I have mixed feelings about this one.

I was put off at first by the sparseness of the prose. I’ve read unadorned writing before and seen it used to great effect, but here I found it difficult to connect with the characters through chapter after chapter of flat, declarative sentences. Har
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great, great book about the love between a daughter and her father, and how they helped each other find their way through the world. My only complaint is that it ended abruptly. But this is a good book!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this author. Periodically there is a sentence that is so beautiful and alive with sweetness. I didn't love the neatness of the end but the characters and the tension in the plot kept me engaged.
Grace Sanchez
At heart the the author portrays the mercy needed for his characters to survive and grow in this world. This is another thoughtful book that allows the reader to explore difficult lives in a way that honors each character's life stories.
Jul 04, 2017 added it
This book! I loved it. The cover was a bit misleading; I was kind of expecting something cheesy and melodramatic but it was not. It was lovely and beautifully written. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, it was a pleasant surprise.
Darth Vix
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I would like to send a HUGE thank you to the author, the publisher Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours for having me on the tour and giving me chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Father’s Day is an adult contemporary book about a young girl Harvey, who when her parents tragically die in a car accident is taken in (much to his surprise) by her estranged uncle. And that’s basically all that I am willing to say about the plot other than what you read in the description above bec
Jane Taylor
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won this advance uncorrected proof copy from the Goodreads giveaways - thank you.
As I started to read the book, I was a bit dismayed to find it began in a very 'American' style - not usually one of my favourite styles. However, as I read it, I found myself getting drawn more and more into the story. I enjoyed the looking back and then up to date and how the lives intertwined with Harvey's. One small criticism is that I didn't always know what age Harvey had reached - was she still playing wit
Denise Westlake
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book; didn't want it to end... so I deliberately slowed down. But it ended too quickly anyway. Every page, every single page, I enjoyed reading. Carefully note the author because there are a lot of books with this title.
.. the best years of her father's life had only been the beginning of hers .pg 28.
He should have tried to enjoy things more -marveling at the finality of moments he now recognized as happiness .38.
MEMORIES hold our lives in place but weigh nothing and cannot be seen
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First book I read by Van Booy and I am in love. Reading this book was the first time in recent memory that I have felt that real, true thrill of reading, that excitement to get to the book whenever I could. The characters, Jason and Harvery, are absolutely real, quirky and unforgettable, the writing lyrical, the story deeply compelling. I am giving it a 5 though technically I would give it a 4.5 because a very wonky thing happens within a few pages of the end that I find rather untenable but oth ...more
Julie Klock
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
While much in this book was unrealistic (the social worker for starters) it still managed to capture the strange magic of relationships. Coincidence does happen. People do change. Relationships are messy.
I liked the people who inhabit this story and enjoyed exploring Paris and their past with them.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i hyperventilated my way through the last page-and-a-half and had to read the ending twice even though i had figured it out chapters before. also, the makeup i had put on earlier for a wedding is now under my chin. there are some books you read with your heart and this is absolutely one of those!
Melanie Edens
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just stop everything and read this book. ❤ ...more
Paperback Paris
Having read the book myself, I can attest that Father's Day will hook you within the first few chapters; and the story within will move you in ways you never knew possible. Simon Van Booy 's novel chronicles our narrator Harvey from her childhood until she's 26-years-old.

We learn that when Harvey was 6-years-old, a traumatic event changes her life dramatically. She goes back to her childhood, one of a good life with parents who loved her, but then the next day, she discovers both of her paren
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review at http://www.everydayiwritethebookblog....

I stumbled upon Father's Day by Simon Van Booy on the remainder shelf at the bookstore. It caught my eye, I made note of it, and ended up picking it up at the library last week. It was (probably) my last book of 2017, and it ended my reading year on a very high note.

Father's Day is about a girl named Harvey (yes, weird name choice) whose parents died when she was a little girl. With no other family around, she ends up living with her uncle J
Laureen Nowakowski
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a find - I found it browsing in the library. I checked a few times while reading it to make sure a man really wrote it - he describes people's feelings and experiences in perfect detail. It made me feel like I knew the 2 main characters - I wish I could know them. We probably all know someone like Jason - struggling, not a lot of friends, someone who could use our help, someone who not a lot of people are attracted to. The writer I would compare him to is Elizabeth Berg-both writer ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Harvey loses both her parents at age 6 and is sent to live with her only living relative, an uncle who is a convicted felon that she has never met but has heard her father talk about. The two brothers have not had any contact in several years. Through trial and error a man who is scarred physically, mentally, and emotionally lets a little girl in and a little girl who is also wounded is healed. The story is told in past and present viewpoints of both Harvey and her uncle. It is a reminder of the ...more
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Simon Van Booy is the award-winning and best-selling author of 10 books of fiction, and three anthologies of philosophy. He has written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, NPR, and the BBC. His books have been translated into many languages. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter. In 2013, he founded Writers for Children, a project which helps young people build confidence in the ...more
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“But war only ends for those who have not been in one.” 1 likes
“That's truth, Harvey, not what's written on a piece of paper or in blood too small to see - but the memory of how it felt being together.” 1 likes
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