Book Review: Flaherty’s Crossing by Kaylin McFarren

Book Details:

File Size: 478 KB
Print Length: 273 pages
Publisher: Champagne Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Book Summary:

Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession of his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an expected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.

About the Author:

Kaylin McFarren is a rare bird indeed. Not a migratory sort, she prefers to hug the West Coast and keep family within visiting range. Although she has virtually been around the world, she was born in California, relocated with her family to Washington, and nested with her husband in Oregon. In addition to playing an active role in his business endeavors, she has been involved in all aspects of their three daughters’ lives – taxi duties, cheerleading coaching, script rehearsals, and relationship counseling, to name but a few. Now she enjoys spending undisciplined time with her two young grandsons and hopes to have many more . . . Read More

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Book Review:

Flaherty’s Crossing is a good book about love, family, marriage and dealing with the loss of loved ones no matter how estranged. Author Kaylin McFerrin is an excellent writer and storyteller with tremendous descriptive abilities.

Kate and Drew are a married couple with successful careers who, not surprisingly, have drifted apart. Kate is an artist busy with painting and gallery exhibits. Drew is an up and coming attorney who is tempted to find comfort in the arms of another women if Kate doesn’t comply with his ultimatum to start a family of their own.

Her hesitancy towards parenthood lies in her own dysfunctional upbringing. Kate’s mother was killed by a drunk driver after fleeing their family home because of an argument with Kate’s father. Not only did Kate lose her mother, but her father became withdrawn and literally distant, preferring to spend his time on the road as a truck driver. Because of her father’s chronic absence, Kate is raised by her Aunt Sophie who becomes Kate’s closest family relation.

The novel begins with a powerful shift in relationship as Kate is confronted with the reality of her father’s imminent death. He is in the final stages of his losing battle with cancer after years of chemo therapy. Kate learns more about her father in death then she ever did while he was alive. Ironically, his hospice caregiver knows more about Kate’s father than his own daughter. His nurse is kind and becomes instrumental in also easing Kate’s pain to eventually enable her to discover the paper trail which enlightens her understanding of past familial events. Her new found awareness, although shocking, is exactly the information Kate needs to finally begin to resolve all lingering emotional conflicts with the father she barely knew.

Flaherty’s Crossing focuses on two primary relationships: Kate’s strained relationship with her husband, Drew, and Kate’s father’s relationship with her mother. In a word, this book is about marriage. The dynamic of each relationship parallels each other as many marital relationships often do. The title Flaherty’s Crossing is apropos. As Kate’s father reaches the final stages of his own passing, Kate is at a crossroads of her own, which is choosing the life or death of her own marriage.

Once Kate receives word that her father is near the end, she drops everything to be by his side despite their mutual lack of warmth and closeness to one another. In her haste to go to her father, Kate leaves a rushed voice mail message which her husband fails to retrieve and listen to till much later. Drew assumes the worst about their own problematic relationship, but all of his reservations are quickly cast aside once he discovers his own wife is in need and rushes to find and rescue her physically and emotionally.

Family-driven novels such as Flaherty’s Crossing may not be the most original from of dramatic fiction, but the author manages to hit on all the important notes. Marriage and family dynamics are difficult under the best of circumstances, but unions such as these are the binds that connect us. The author does a nice job of depicting these complex relationships without falling into the trap of creating trite, conventional characters.

McFerrin also manages to throw in a few twists for good measure, giving the story some compelling suspenseful moments. There is also a suggestion of a quasi-paranormal event which is left for the reader’s mind and imagination to interpret as they like. We didn’t find it necessary to add these other off-genre devices, as the story can stand on its own. Without these curve balls, which distracted a bit from the real importance of Flaherty’s Crossing, it was a terrific story about marriage, family, unconditional love, forgiveness, healing, and resolution.

This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.


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