Edited by Andrea N. Richesin
Harlequin, $13.95, 261 pages

The stories in What I Would Tell Here are a surprising mixture of hilarity and tragedy. In one light-hearted story, the father is accused by his wife of having an affair with his daughter, then the story directly after that discusses the tragic demise of a daughter in the womb. No matter the content, be it funny or tragic or a little of both, the father in it struggles with the dual joy and pain of letting his daughter grow up and away from him. Each parent has his own style of connecting with his daughter. He lists his own faults that he has gifted her with unabashedly and takes an active role in the rearing of his offspring, unlike the fathers of his previous generation.
This day and age is a new time in society for fathers. Fatherhood is promoted in car commercials that previously used sex appeal to sell. The trials and tribulations of child rearing are taken up as a mantle by male leads in popular sitcoms. Infant changing tables now appear in men’s restrooms as well as women’s. And this collection of 28 stories is compiled to celebrate the daddy/daughter relationship that goes beyond a night time story and a pat on the head at the end of a long work day.
It is a wonderful compilation for fathers and daughters, be they old hats at the game, or just starting out. Each story brings with it a beauty and revelation about parenting a daughter that the authors at least hadn’t expected to learn. Reader be forewarned, just like life, one never knows when the page is turned, if it will be a happy ending or a tragic one.

Rachelle Barrett