BOOK REVIEW: EMMA CLINE – DADDY

Today, I am back with another book review and this time it’s a short story collection from author Emma Cline, Daddy.

I haven’t posted a review in a while – I think I was all Booker-ed out after the shortlist announcement! I’ve also been taking my reading slower for a while but I have some book reviews to post and starting with this one that I read a few weeks ago, Daddy by Emma Cline. Here is the synopsis:

The stories in Emma Cline’s stunning first collection consider the dark corners of human experience, exploring the fault lines of power between men and women, parents and children, past and present. A man travels to his son’s school to deal with the fallout of a violent attack and to make sure his son will not lose his college place. But what exactly has his son done? And who is to blame? A young woman trying to make it in LA, working in a clothes shop while taking acting classes, turns to a riskier way of making money but will be forced to confront the danger of the game she’s playing. And a family coming together for Christmas struggle to skate over the lingering darkness caused by the very ordinary brutality of a troubled husband and father.

The stories in Emma Cline’s stunning first collection consider the dark corners of human experience, exploring the fault lines of power between men and women, parents and children, past and present. A man travels to his son’s school to deal with the fallout of a violent attack and to make sure his son will not lose his college place. But what exactly has his son done? And who is to blame? A young woman trying to make it in LA, working in a clothes shop while taking acting classes, turns to a riskier way of making money but will be forced to confront the danger of the game she’s playing. And a family coming together for Christmas struggle to skate over the lingering darkness caused by the very ordinary brutality of a troubled husband and father.

These outstanding stories examine masculinity, male power and broken relationships, while revealing – with astonishing insight and clarity – those moments of misunderstanding that can have life-changing consequences. And there is an unexpected violence, ever-present but unseen, in the depiction of the complicated interactions between men and women, and families. Subtle, sophisticated and displaying an extraordinary understanding of human behaviour, these stories are unforgettable.

I really enjoyed The Girls by Emma Cline a few years ago and I was very excited to see her with a short story collection just about to be published! I love a good story collection – like I’ve said on here a few times, I find short stories collection a great way to get out of a reading slump, a great tool for inspiration in my own writing and they are just great to go in and out of and read some favourite stories if you’re unsure of what to read next. And I really enjoyed Daddy by Emma Cline – I think she’s a writer that the short story form really suits.

The main thread that runs throughout the collection is of masculinity and male power. She uses this theme to show it in a number of different ways. It’s also about the relationship between parent and child, men and women, friendship, grief, violence, and so much more. The writing is brilliant – like I said, she suits the form of a short story in that she is particular in her use of language, she understands character and I think she’s a writer that loves to investigate a particular theme or idea and what better way than a short story?

I’ve read a few of her stories on The New Yorker and really enjoyed them, even more so reading them in this collection. There were some stories that didn’t work for me and I would have liked to see her write something a bit different to some of the stories but I think it’s a well-crafted collection of short stories and I loved reading more writing from her. If you loved Ottessa Moshfegh’s story collection, Homesick For Another World, I am sure you would love this, too.

I really enjoyed this short story collection – a great way to get out of a reading slump with wonderful writing and important themes at play. It was pleasure getting lost in her writing again and I hope there’s more (a novel!) in the future! I can’t wait to read more.

Have you read Daddy? Are you a fan of short stories? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you,

Corey.

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