Daddy’s Girl, by Ben Burgess Jr., is a unique novel about the black experience in America as seen through the eyes of a father and his daughter.
Nick Johnson is an underachieving alcoholic and womanizer with little ambition other than partying with friends. After he gets a married woman pregnant, she decides to give the child up for adoption, but Nick has other plans.
Nick tries his best to care for the baby, but the man is totally clueless. Consequently, he turns to big brother Joe whose childless wife Rhea falls in love with baby Lynn at first sight.
The author does an excellent job in developing his characters. Nick has two brothers—Joe and Jimmy. Joe was nicknamed by their dad as Scout because he was a Boy Scout, the golden child, and the first-born. The youngest son, Jimmy, was called Chance because he could never do anything right. Finally, Nick was given the appropriate name of Fool because he was stubborn and needed to learn life’s lessons the hard way.
Each character was true to his moniker. Scout was the stable brother Fool and Chance turned to for financial help and a roof over their heads. Chance was the unemployed drifter turned heroin addict, and Fool was hardheaded to the point of pure stupidity.
Fortunately for Lynn, many of the characters entering her life helped Nick to raise the child in a positive way.
Burgess takes on many issues facing American families—single parenting, divorce, teen dating, drug addiction, and more. He accomplishes this through the backdrop of Nassau County, Long Island, New York where most of the novel takes place.
The biggest problem with Daddy’s Girl is descriptive settings. Burgess lets us know where the characters are chatting, but we rarely get a glimpse of the appearance of a specific setting leaving too much guesswork for readers’ imaginations.
Burgess does present a fast-paced plot and keeps it moving from first to last page as he draws on readers’ emotions of anger, sadness, joy, and tears. Guaranteed, readers will feel it all and more as they read Daddy’s Girl.
Ben Burgess Jr. is the author of the award-winning novels Monster, Wounded, Love and Happiness, and the new novel Daddy’s Girl. He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr. uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His novels Monster and Wounded are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management and an MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.