Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Revisiting Town Father

I’ve been dipping into my indie catalog lately, featuring an excerpt from the books I’ve published since 2013. This week it’s Town Father‘s turn.

This might well be the only historical fiction I ever write, unless you consider a novel set in the early 1970s to be historical fiction. Maybe so. But I had never tried to set a book in the 19th century till Town Father came along, and the writing of it was a blast. Mucho research, lots of reading of contemporary books, and a real spirit of adventure as I made my way through the story as if on a wagon negotiating rutted trails.

Here’s a sample:

Mother wouldn’t have approved of my life, as I know each of my sisters would not want to associate with a man who lived the life I lived for six and a half years. No one, hearing the description of an anonymous man who served three hundred women as I served the women of Hestia, would spare an ounce of respect or sympathy for him and would probably recommend him for arrest and hanging. And yet I miss them all. I miss — not Whitman’s physical love — but the unity of purpose. I miss the camaraderie, if the word applies to women (I suppose it does, and not just to soldiers or men of some club), I miss the laughter and hard work, I miss the commitment to ideas, the clarity of direction, the strength of the many when they are of the same mind. I miss the smell of the foothills, the chaparral, the grass, the sharp, spicy aroma of our oak hearth fires, the mosses and pines and the very dirt we walked upon. In my mind are visions of the hills as they recede to the west in evening haze and as they build like a woman’s body toward the mountains in the east, and visions also of each face I knew there, every one of them, and I find that I miss them each as individuals too. I can hear their voices, smell their hair, feel their distinctive touch and recall their private ways, and I find, perhaps most surprisingly of all, that I miss the children very much. My children. They are aspects of my own self, left behind.

Sometimes the pallor of regret is on my face like a mask. Few have wondered out loud what it is that troubles me so much.

You can buy Town Father for $2.99. And if you do, please read and review.

11 comments on “Revisiting Town Father

  1. Pingback: One of my favorite novels: Town Father by Kevin Brennan. | 1WriteWay

  2. Priscilla
    September 14, 2017

    Dang, just that excerpt drew me in. I promptly added Town Father to my BTR list!

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 14, 2017

      Booyah, Priscilla! I’m glad you liked it. (And BTW, the paperback is a thing’a beauty, with that cover by Max Scratchmann.)

  3. Carrie Rubin
    September 14, 2017

    You know I enjoyed it! As did my book club. 🙂

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 14, 2017

      Oh yeah. So cool that your club chose it, Carrie!

  4. Phillip McCollum
    September 14, 2017

    Another Brennan classic that I haven’t gotten to yet and I don’t have any good excuses as to why. But it’s on the before-2018 list!

  5. Luanne
    September 14, 2017

    I still haven’t written a review for Kevin’s memoir. Maybe I should read this first and do both at once. I have this book waiting in my kindle!

    • Luanne
      September 14, 2017

      I’m traveling and that was meant for Marie, but for you too obviously!

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 14, 2017

      Thanks, Luanne! It’s tough catching up with all those books waiting in the Kindle, isn’t it? 😉

      • Luanne
        September 15, 2017

        It’s very stressful!

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