Today I have a great guest post from Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies. Now before I get to that, I need to share the all-important bookish information!
About the book:
WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW
In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.
WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW
In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT
Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone?
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the author:
Caz Frear is the winner of Richard and Judy’s Search for a Bestseller and Sweet Little Lies is her first novel.
DADS & DAUGHTERS – A COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP.
There’s a scene I cut from Sweet Little Lies where Cat is standing in a shop on Christmas Eve, agonising over which Christmas card to begrudgingly buy for her dad. It was one of those scenes that I absolutely loved working on but something wasn’t quite sitting right so I cut it out, put it back, cut it out, put it back, and so on, until I finally realised what the problem was, and it was so simple – much as the scene had lots of dark comic potential, Cat would never buy her Dad a Christmas card, not even to keep the peace with her sister. I mean, let’s be honest, she’s not exactly full of greeting-card sentiment for him.
It got me thinking though about dads and daughters, about the complicated, hard-to-articulate relationships that women can sometimes have with their fathers – relationships that don’t exactly fit with the artificial sentiments poured down our throats by the greeting-card industry every Christmas, birthday, Father’s Day, etc. Incidentally, I’m writing this as Father’s Day fast approaches so it’ll soon be me dithering in Clintons/Paperchase/the slightly crap card section in my local off-licence, over what conveys if not exactly the perfect message, simply one that isn’t cloying and patently untrue.
Because what if your dad isn’t the ‘Best Dad Ever!’ by generally perceived standards? What if he isn’t ‘The King of the House!’ or your ‘All-time Hero!’? What if he lacks humour and doesn’t appreciate a jokey card that reminds him how you regularly rinse him of all his money/’borrow’ his car keys/test his patience. What if he tests yours? Taps you up for money? Crushes your self-esteem with his sneery disapproval for every life choice you’ve made.
*Disclaimer – my dad is an absolute rock-star, one of my favourite people to hang out with, and he does none of the above, and yet….and yet……it’s complicated, as a lot of dad-daughter relationships are. Anything too slushy or complimentary of his parenting skills feels a bit phoney, to be honest. And the jokey cards never strike the right tone either. They all seem to reference a) golf, gardening or gadgets which is SO not my dad or b) the fact that he’s inferior to Mum in just about every way – which isn’t in great humour when you take into account they’ve been divorced for the past twenty-five years!
So what would the ideal card say?
‘Dad, you’ve f*cked up a bit but haven’t we all, don’t worry about it!’
Ultimately, I think mine would say,
“I am me and you are you, and neither of us will change much now which is fine. I love you.”
I think this is what I was aiming for at the end of Sweet Little Lies. It felt too big a jump for Cat and her dad to reconcile fully, but it was important for her to accept that dads are rarely ‘All-time Heroes.’ Instead they’re human and they’re flawed and capable of misery-making as much as the next person. I knew I definitely didn’t want a happy ending for them, as such, just for Cat to be ok with the fact that their relationship is complicated and probably always will be.
Because complicated doesn’t have to mean fraught. And it doesn’t have to mean non-existent. It just means accepting that ‘The Most Flawed Dad Ever!’ can still be ‘The Best Dad Ever!’ if you’re prepared to accept him for who he is, rather than who Mr Clinton and Mrs Paperchase tell you he should be.
Catch up with the blog tour: