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Father's Day

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  445 Ratings  ·  106 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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Angela M
Jan 08, 2016 Angela M 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 Hoffer
Mar 30, 2016 Larry Hoffer 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 Roger Brunyate 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 Erika Robuck 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:
Sep 16, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc-egalley
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
Shawn Mooney
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
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
May 03, 2016 Lori L (She Treads Softly) 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.
Jun 11, 2016 LindaJ^ 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 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, vine, fiction
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
Apr 26, 2016 Gail 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
Jul 16, 2016 Carla 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.
Jenifer Jacobs
Apr 26, 2016 Jenifer Jacobs 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 07, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at work this morning. I started it 3 hours ago. I just finished. It's beautiful. Simple, powerful, truth, love, poetic, loss, love, family...what a gift.
May 17, 2016 MsNoseinaBook 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 Jane Taylor 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 Denise Westlake 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
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 Julie Klock 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 jennifer 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 Melanie Edens rated it it was amazing
Just stop everything and read this book. ❤ ...more
Catherine Lemmer
Mar 10, 2017 Catherine Lemmer rated it it was amazing
I recently discovered and have become fan of Simon Van Booy -- his short declarative sentences without a lot of flowery wrap around. Lately I have little patience for those authors that obfuscate or lessen simple truths because he or she thinks the reader will find them of less value unless they are smartened up! Van Booy writes so compellingly and with such grace and style that you have to force your self to slow down to capture all the nuances (or as I do, read the work twice).

My favorite lin
Lisa T.
Jan 20, 2017 Lisa T. rated it liked it
When Harvey's parents are killed in a car accident, the social worker who's assigned to her contacts the one relative she has left - her uncle, a disabled felon whom she's never met. The story moves between past and present, where her uncle (who she calls her dad) is coming to visit her in Paris. She's planned a special Father's Day gift for him, including an envelope containing a secret. Even from the beginning, I thought I knew what the secret was, but as I got close to the end, I started thin ...more
Mar 18, 2017 Anne rated it liked it
Having loved two of Van Boy's other books, I was slightly disappointed in Father's Day. It was a sweet story, but a little predictable and the relationship between grownup Harvey and her dad/uncle seemed stiff compared to their relationship as she was growing up. Still, I think he was working on that common theme of the ikkysion of separateness that he has written about before ( and named a novel after). The ending was something I saw coming and I hope they talked more about it and discovered th ...more
Devin Murphy
Nov 23, 2016 Devin Murphy rated it it was amazing
I am going to preorder every book by him from now on. He is my new favorite author and this book offers a great twist ending.
Colleen Metzger
Mar 03, 2017 Colleen Metzger rated it it was amazing
Loved this book.
Rob McGrory
Feb 02, 2017 Rob McGrory rated it it was amazing
I went mushy for a change
Mar 15, 2017 Linda rated it really liked it
Lovely tale of what really makes a father a father. Didn't care for how Van Booy chose to end it though - it detracted from a beautiful story.
Sara Strand
May 10, 2016 Sara Strand rated it really liked it
Right away I have to tell you something that almost made this a stop reading within the first 50 pages because it's a trend I see more and more in books and it drives me CRAZY. Stop adding fluff. The first twenty pages or so describe Harvey as a child and her relationship/home life with her parents, who ultimately die in a car wreck, which is basically the start of the story. That's all fine. Then we get to the "Twenty Years Later" and Harvey is all grown up. She's gone to college, she's started ...more
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Simon Van Booy was born in London and grew up in rural Wales and Oxford. After playing football in Kentucky, he lived in Paris and Athens. In 2002 he was awarded an MFA and won the H.R. Hays Poetry Prize. His journalism has appeared in magazines and newspapers including the New York Times and the New York Post. Van Booy is the author of The Secret Lives of People in Love, now translated into sever ...more
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“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
“But war only ends for those who have not been in one.” 0 likes
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