The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff

the daddy diaries (May5) pic2

  • Title:  The Daddy Diaries: A novel
  • Author:  Joshua Braff
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  May 5, 2015 – Prince Street Press
  • Source:  Tandem Literary

My take:  Jay and his wife Jackie recently moved their family to Florida from California for her job. Jay will stay home with the kids while she brings home the paycheck. He reflects on that occasionally but, overall, he embraces his role in the family.

Jay’s kids (13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter) take to their new location quite differently. His son is sullen and removed while his daughter has a new best friend and busy social life. My heart went out to Jay as he tried so hard to help his son who seemed to be very unhappy. Having raised a son I wondered if it was depression or the onset of puberty – not an easy time either way.

Through his diary notes we see Jay navigate a variety of activities and incidents in his new location. The acerbic and witty (and sometimes stereotypical) observations had me either cringing or laughing. I found his perspective on the way adult males embrace their situations as fathers (or not) interesting. Jay never quits trying to do the right thing – and he’s seen plenty of examples of how not to act.

The Daddy Diaries is a very quick and easy read about the importance of fathers and family in all its modern versions. Recommended to fans of contemporary family fiction.

Joshua Braff grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from Columbia High School and NYU. He earned an MFA in creative writing/fiction from St. Mary’s College of California. Josh’s first novel The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green (Algonquin Books, 2004), about a dysfunctional, Jewish family in late ‘70s was chosen as a Barnes & Noble Discover pick. Peep Show (Algonquin Books, 2010), his second book, was about a 17-year-old boy forced to choose between his Orthodox mother’s life and his father’s career in the porn industry. People Magazine raved, “Braff skillfully illuminates the failures and charms of a broken family. That teen longing for adults to act their age haunts long after the final page.” Josh lives in California with his wife of almost 20 years and their two kids. He is an avid baseball fan and an accomplished painter who plays guitar and drums. The Daddy Diaries is his third novel.

For more information please visit the author’s website