A review of Breaking Her Fall, by Stephen Goodwin
We recently experienced a bit of difficulty with our seventeen-year-old daughter. Nothing horribly serious other than a love of vodka and Coke bought with a fake ID. Not that either my wife or I ever indulged in such activity a hundred years ago when we were teenagers.
So, looking for insight I pulled off my shelf a ten-year-old copy of Breaking Her Fall ($24.00, Harcourt) by Stephen Goodwin. I had bought it when another daughter was having trouble, but never got around to reading it. It’s still available online on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble in paperback. Many used hardcovers are also floating around.
The narrator, Tucker Jones is in his forties, a reasonably successful business man, divorced and has custody of his two teenage children, including Kat who is fourteen. On a night when both the kids have sleepovers, he invites his girlfriend, Christine, for a sleepover himself, but their bliss in interrupted by a strange phone call at two a.m.
A voice on the other end of the line tells him that instead of going to the movies and a friend’s house, Kat is at a wild party gathering around a large swimming people in a wealthy section of town. Apparently, the parents are gone, the kids are drunk, and Tucker’s daughter, Kat, is performing oral sex on several of the older boys. If that won’t get you out of bed, I don’t know what will.
After the father of the injured boy sues Tucker for $7 million, Tucker proceeds to thoroughly screw up his life. Unwilling to share with Christine his difficulties he pushes her away to the point where she dumps him. Kat refuses to talk to him about the incident or really anything else, on top of refusing to go to school, and locking her bedroom door. Both father and daughter see shrinks, who only seem to reinforce their anxiety.
Tucker then plunges into an affair with the wife of a friend. His ex-wife demands to revisit the custody arrangement, and move the kids to New York where she lives with her new husband on Long Island. Think you’re having a bad day? The custody argument causes Tucker to relive the events that destroyed his marriage—his wife fell in love with a western artist, their affair conducted right under Tucker’s nose.
One can’t help but have sympathy for the poor man although he tries our patience with his stumbling about, indecisiveness, irresolution in dealing with his children and responding to the charges against him. I won’t tell you how this all gets sorted out, but the ending is a cool surprise. After reading Breaking Her Fall you will agree the British aristocracy had it right. As soon as kids turn ten, ship them off to boarding school and let them become someone else’s problem.
Steve E Clark as seen in the New York Times is Author of Justice Is for the Lonely and Justice Is for the Deserving, Kristen Kerry Novels Of Suspense. You can purchase his books via SteveClarkAuthor.com/BuyBook or request it at your local book store. Want to know more about Steve Clark, read more reviews or speak directly with Steve? Learn more about Steve at SteveClarkAuthor.com