This is not really a spoiler as very early in the book learn that the premise of the books that the son in the book at 27 years old has assinated (shot) in the US, a politician who was on course to be president of the US. The book is about what lead him to pull that trigger? Was it something in his genetics, his childhood, early adultlife experiences and influences or mental health?
The book flips between narratives of the son and the Father. The Father is trying to establish whether the assianation is his fault, is he a Good Father?
I read this book for book club. It was a book that I enjoyed the book club more than the book itself. The book is is thought provoking about nurture vs nature, gun regulation in the US and how crimes are punished in the states. I like that the book does not provide an exact reason why the son did what he did. As that is true to life that for someone to do something like that, would be a combination of reasons not just one. What I did not like is that the Father research previous assinations / attempts to try and understand., I felt these chapters were too much detail. It felt like the author had researched assinations then chucked all his research into the book. The detail made me want to skip but part from that enjoyed reading then the book club enhanced therefore I wanted to document some of our discussions. Be ware the may be some small spoilers ahead if not read the book.
As the Father is a Dr, he wants to understand his son’s motives. Therefore he considers his family history, events from his son’s childhood and early adulthood and copmplares to his research of assassins. As a Dr he knows that there can be many factors and sometimes when sympom is actually not related to the others and confuses the picture. The Father moved across States for work when his son was young. He had only intended to stay a year but due to the work situation and meeting his second wife a nnd having twins his stay became permanent; he wonders how much of an impact that had on his son; did it make him a bad Father to his eldest buyt good to his youngest?
A key event that is mentioned in the book is that the son had a near death experience as a child because a plane the was on in transit between parents nearly crashed. if he had of died people would have wept that so much potential lost but actually would him dying in the plane crash have saved the poltician’s lives. or if the son had not had that experience on the plane would he not have performed the assassination?
The book is slightly vague about the timing of it’s events. When dates such as the son’s date of birth mentioned the year is xx. Not sure if it was to suggest censorship or author wanted timing of assination to be vague to not confuse the assination with real life political events.
Other participants interesting observations were that if the Father’s first wife and Mother to his son had taken his surname she would have has a near rhyming name of Ellen Allen. Also there was an episode where the Father has a stange chance meeting with someone his son had known. But some participants suggested this was a figment off his imagination especially as when security caught up with the man he was genuinluy a cleaner.