Imagine losing your mother to cancer and not being able to grieve her death. Worse, at the root of the anger and resentment you feel, is the truth she hid from you. In the prime of your life, you discover that the man who you thought was your father all these years, is not. To add insult to injury, you discover that your mother "could not tell you the truth because she did not know it".
At 40, Sol finds himself between a rock and a hard place as he struggles with the betrayal of his parents. Sure enough, he had everything to his comfort growing up in England. Besides, there was never any reason for him to question his paternity. After all, Adam, the man who fathered him, was, by all means a model father, and he and Sol had bonded well.
But with his mother now gone and the untimely death of Adam in the Dakar Rally in Lisbon, Sol is suddenly thrust into the unknown. A peace offering of sorts, he reckons, his "mum" leaves him a tidy sum, a business, house and shares in the family business. But that's not enough to quell his anger and Sol questions her motives: "What's this, some kind of pay-off for lying to me all my life?"
The land of his father
Armed with enough curiosity and cash, Sol sets out to find his real father, a journey that takes him to the land of his father, Jamaica, the United States and Barbados.
The plot here is a good one, but if you're looking for a racy storyline with that constant surprise element, then you won't get that in Fantasy Fathers. What you're sure to get is a glimpse into the world of anyone who has lived with the pain of not knowing a parent.
Having the added task of proofreading is a major distraction for even the most adept reader, and Fantasy Fathers falls short in this department. From as early as the 'Acknowledgements', the book falls down, such as in: "John Frith, for your skill, patience, and grace when proof reading for us, mighty mighty thanks."
Surely, every proofreader knows that 'proofreading' is one word, and can tell when a comma is needed to separate words, in this case, mighty.
There are a host of others on the facing page and throughout the book, such as when the writer leaves off the hyphen in 'matter of fact' when it is used in an adjectival position and 'pay off', or even, "I was 'wandering' how to put it to the other guys, where it should have been 'wondering'.
All in all, it is worth flipping through the pages of Fantasy Fathers.
Fantasy Fathers are available at Kingston Bookshop outlets in The Springs and at King Street.