I (M, 35) have penis feelings for my new gf's daughter (F, 14, cute school uniform). It's totally mutual though, since she didn't scratch my eyes out yet. AITA?
- Yes, dude. Go to jail and do not collect £200.
Me, reacting to this book in real time:
I DNF'ed this book @30%. I just couldn't finish it because the writer seems to really want readers to sympathise with Nick, who is an unapologetic pedo rapist of the worst kind. Since Olivia apparently ends up falling for him and he doesn't get mauled to death by hippos, I don't see myself finishing this.
Pedo rapists are the worst! I have no tolerance for writers who picture stories like this as an "affair" or "love story". Gross.
I've never left a comment before about a book, but I felt like I should for this one. I happened upon this in one of Amazon's discussion groups, it took me a month to decide to read it because of the touchy, slightly taboo subject matter. I can honestly say this book made me think and even afterwards I can't help but still think about it. I won't go into the plot, but I will say this my heart has never ached so much for the fictional Olivia. Maybe it's because I'm a child of divorce, well I guess I don't count as a child since I'm 34, but this author wrote some very heavy stuff. To mean that's what I loved about it. It made me laugh, made me mad and about had me crying. I truly reccomend this book to anyone who has an open mind. The only bad thing is that the sequel to this Father of Lies is almost impossible to find, and I'm dying to read it to see what happened next.
I was expecting something more like a sanitized sensual seduction given not only the blurb and summary but also because a lot of authors tend to shy away from such things. Since this was obviously coming from the POV of a 14 year old I thought there'd be a more dopey romanticism to it. Well it's not that. Daddy's Girl leaves us with no doubt that the titular seduction is a rape of an innocent lonely kid by a really horrible person. It's straightforward predator/prey dynamic, but the context of it is messy enough that there's room to explore and guess. Olivia, the girl, is in love with her mom's boyfriend but the narrative is decidedly not dopey romantic, more like dark erotica with lots of family dysfunction.
The sex is not only very explicit but often quite violent. The sexual acts themselves are quite physically rough and degrading. Most of the "seduction" is really more just out and out rape, replete with misogynist degradation, obvious sadism and emotional cruelty on Nick's part but with enough complicated feelings from Olivia and both manipulations and honesty from Nick, plus dysfunctional family shit, that we understand why she doesn't just run screaming from him when its so clear who is in the wrong, even when she knows right from the beginning that what she wants and is ok with doesn't matter.
The power dynamics are absurdly and distressingly one-sided, especially given the context of the broken family Olivia comes from, all through out the book. While Olivia is imo an unreliable narrator (third person limited) whose notions of other people's apparent views we can't entirely take for granted, her life objectively sucks and she's mostly right about everyone's horribleness. The author does a great job of building Olivia's subjectivity. I was recognizing some of the traits I've had in myself, that a lot of ppl have when they are depressed: hypersensitivity, a negative narrative we reinforce on ourselves, imputing grand meaning&motives to certain actions/gestures that may or may not just be mundane, flippant or misunderstood, and an inability to speak out. This is all combined with a sexually developed pubescent body that Olivia feels completely alienated from. It's the author's skill in teasing out these details that kept me from feeling simple irritation with her when she just can't snap out of it. It actually made me tear up quite a bit.
There's a lot of wondering about the nature of men and women, are women from Venus are men from Mars, etc. as well as ruminations on adulthood and families and sexuality. Some stuff on class and even race (warning: there are a couple of ugly epithets sprinkled in). There's a small running subplot about Olivia and her friends rewriting the play Medea that I haven't quite figured out what Inglis was trying to say with that. I read the book in one sitting and thus haven't been able to reflect on much of these and come to a conclusion. I got the feeling that Inglis is trying to make some sort of social commentary but I couldn't tell what that was, especially when we keep in mind who we are getting the story from and how warped her views may be.
I will say that the incestuous laden title is perfectly reflective of the bizarre messed up affairs that take place within Olivia's family and her aching desire to be loved by her parents. There's more than a hint of an Electra complex, and the daddy kink gets perversely lampshaded near the end.
It's a strange but emotional book. Fair warning: it ends ambiguously. There is a sequel, Father of Lies, and from what the reviews I've read says it goes straight up Flowers In the Attic, doubling down on the twistedness, cruelty and ambiguity, but with no real justice or resolve and you end up hating literally everyone, including Olivia. So for now I'm just going to read this as a standalone.
I picked this book up at Heathrow airport to read while traveling. Was pleasantly surprised and finished the book during the flight (it was a long flight). I felt the book was well written and very believable although the subject is taboo. Not for everyone who may not like taboo subjects or steamy reads. Does anyone have any recommendations of similar books.
This was the first book I ever read and enjoyed as a teenager. I picked it up, and did that whole flick through a couple of pages, and was instantly gripped and had to read more. The subject is unusual, but I'm sure things do happen like this, so was very believable. I found it to be a very emotional and gripping read.
I think the most terrifying thing about this novel is that stuff like this happens all the time. It really stresses the danger of leaving a child or a teenager alone with an adult you don’t know very well. Mother’s boyfriend, family friend, it doesn’t matter. It’s a risk that people take too often and it often ends much worse than what happened in this novel. Parental neglect often leads children to seek out affection and love elsewhere, and in this novel you see that play out with Olivia, forsaken by both her self absorbed parents and cast into an adult world of sadness and pain before she’s ready for it, if anyone ever is. I suppose the ending is supposed to be seen as a positive thing. Olivia finally receives the unconditional love of her father, and feels a measure of peace for the first time in this story. But, as she later remarks, he still does not understand her. He’ll still live his whole life knowing nothing about the inner turmoils and struggles of his own child. She’s a stranger to him. She’s not a stranger to Nick, though,no matter how bad he is. And that’s why she inevitably still loves him. That’s his appeal. I think the entire point of this novel is that everybody wants to be known. If that incredibly human need to feel important to somebody is not met when we are young, our life can veer off course and make us choose things that we never thought possible. You can’t live as an island. You’ll grab onto anybody just so you can survive, and love whoever you can.
This book was unusual. It was written from the point of view of Olivia, a 14 year old girl who is seduced by her mother's new lover.
I found it easy to read and a real page turner. But I did get a little annoyed with the main character, Olivia. Most of the time I just wanted to shake her for the choices she was making, and the difficulties she was putting other people through.
I also found it quite annoying the way Olivia constantly refers to her mother as Mummy and her father as Daddy throughout the book. She's 14 years old for goodness sake! This wasn't some upper class Sloan, but an ordinary middle class teenager with an intellectual for a father and an artist for a mother. OK, she goes to a fee paying school in London, but I very much doubt that a lot of them speak like that. It just added to the feeling of wanting to slap her or shake her.
However, the story did keep me wanting to know more. Not sure I'd read anything else by this author though.
I first read this many many years ago as a young single mother. At the time I thought about it much with the same view as Lia. It's always stuck in my mind and I remembered it as taboo but erotic and I wished I was Liz and had Nick. I've just stumbled across it and thought omg is this the book I read years ago! I've just re-read it now as an older, much wiser woman and it's blown me away. The difference between reading it then and now is incredible. I don't feel envy for the poor girl any longer, I feel sadness for the neglect she felt. I know I should be thinking Nick as the bad guy. What he was doing was so so wrong. I had mixed feelings so I can see how Lia can't have known whether she was coming or going!
This is quite a complex book, I think. There is the obvious issue of teenage girl meets much older man. And of almost-incest. And of "was it rape if she enjoyed it?" Those are all plain as day. But there was definitely more than that.
So, one thing that absolutely irritated the hell out of me was this upper middle-class environment. Call it the inverted snob in me. The 14 year-old protagonist, Olivia, refers to "Mummy" and "Daddy" incessantly, which is like nails down a blackboard for many - especially me. She says things like "but Daddy, you said I could buy whatever I wanted". She is surrounded by people who actually fret about shaming their family, in a world which frowns upon separated couples dating before divorce. Olivia calls it "adulterous". Between you and me, I don't know many 14 year-olds that would know how to use that word. That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. She and her friends go off on these oh-so pretentious rants about society's problems, feminism, philosophy... they have opinions about everything. Opinions which must be right, since they're being spouted by a couple of privileged public school girls. So, overall, I found the protagonist impossible to like - and incredibly easy to resent. I wanted the worst for her. No doubt, the writer intended to characterise spoiled children and their affluent, snobby backgrounds, so I suppose she succeeded - almost excessively so, for me.
But as the story reaches the last quarter, there are some big nods towards the gaping chasms between classes. Essentially, Olivia blurs the line a bit, shows a little awareness of those less fortunate than herself, which in turn seems to rub off on her schoolmaster-type father. I still don't like her, though. Her "profound" realisations are a bit too lengthy, ill-placed and repetitive. Much like the constant reference to her chest in the first half of the book. I get that she is super sensitive about her boobs... so I really do not need to be reminded every page.
Going back to the topics first mentioned here... again, standards are challenged. Notably whether it is okay for a teenager to sleep with an older man, when it is something she also wants - at least, after a while. And that in turn blurs the line between rape and consensual sex, which is a particularly current debate these days it seems with the Me Too movement. One thing I did not like, though, was a couple of sentences in which Olivia tells herself she was raped....... but she loved it. That seems a bit close to the knuckle for me, in that it absolutely negates - almost fetishises - rape and victims' terror. There are times when I think the writer is trying to address the issue of fantasy vs reality, and that perhaps something which is a fantasy is not always the best reality. But then those two sentences appear and sort of turns that on its head and romanticises rape.
Anyway, despite the fact I still dislike the protagonist and the backwards, moneyed world she is in, I gave it four stars because it did explore so many themes, and did so pretty accessibly.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
It's an all too familiar story. Young woman falls for the inconsiderate, violent Alpha Male instead of the caring and considerate Beta Male who is devoted to her.
Actually, it's worse than that. The girl, Olivia (from whose perspective the story is told) is a mere 14/15 years old. The bad boy, Nick, is an adult who is dating Olivia's mother. He has no inhibitions, no conscience, no respect for consent, no patience, so he rapes Olivia when opportunity permits. And, get this, she falls in love with him AFTER that.
Actually, it's even more worse. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Olivia deliberately gets herself pregnant by Nick, and to hide that fact she commits paternity fraud with her Beta boyfriend Charlie, letting Charlie think the child is his so that she can secretly have Nick's baby without publicly acknowledging that its Nick's.
Remember the bit in the movie "As Good as It Gets" where Jack Nicholson (who is a writer) is approached by a female fan who says, "How do you write women so well?" He answers, "I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability." Well, there's a reason why that's funny. Now, I don't want to make a sweeping gesture about female nature, but I am talking about a trend. Yes, Nick is a rapist, an absolutely detestable man. But what doesn't seem to be noticed by many reviewers is that almost all of the women in this novel are evil, too. Olivia's mum gets herself pregnant to trap Nick into marriage. Olivia's father (divorced) is caught in the same predicament with his new partner Althea. Olivia's best friend Megan encourages her to commit paternity fraud then later sleeps with Charlie herself. But Olivia herself takes the prize. She is privileged but full of self-pity, always moaning internally to herself about how her mother and father don't love her, always interpreting the things they do as if everything is about her, all the while having a completely self-centred attitude about what love is. It's funny/tragic hearing her express thoughts of love towards Charlie, all the while continuing to manipulate him in the most immoral way.
It's hard to know how much the author agrees with Olivia and her actions, because the story is written entirely from Olivia's perspective. As a reader, I felt sympathy for Olivia initially, but ended up hating her as much as I hated Nick. On a positive note, this is a tale about the destructive power of eros - what desire does to men and what it does to women. It's a very well written book. The characters feel real. It suffers a bit because it's overlong, and full of too many boring domestic scenes that don't really advance the plot. But mainly, the book suffered the most because I couldn't bring myself to root for Olivia. And so, I have no desire to look up the sequel.
I finished the novel feeling glad that I'm a single man who has avoided marriage. I accept the cliche "Not all women are like that," but the risks are too high to play the game. Thank you, Janet Inglis, for the reinforcement of a lesson already learned, whether that lesson was intended or not.
Winner for most abrupt ending goes to... this book. No acknowledgement to ease you into nothingness. It just ends.
It’s scary to rate a book like this highly. It’s like saying you condone what was in it, and that just isn’t the case AT ALL.
This book was sad. Not boo hoo sad. But depressing. It’s Lolita + OG VC Andrews + taboo erotica. Set in the 90’s rbefore Y2K. The story is so... it’s something. Not a love story though the word gets thrown around. It’s both easy to read and incredibly hard to read. Easy because the writing was almost breathtaking at times. And hard because the story is terrible. A 14 girl and her mom’s bf/ new husband?! And he’s awful. He knows he’s awful. She’s the victim, but she’s also awful. (Like, the way she uses sweet Charlie who only wants to love her and be the father of her baby) Unreliable narrators. I don’t believe the author was romanticizing this scenario, which honestly, was all too believable. Practically read like a memoir.
I know there is a sequel, I don’t when I’ll get to it. Maybe someday. So glad I read a spoilery review for it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I first read this book many years ago - twice, as I recall - and remember finding it if not enjoyable, then certainly intriguing and compelling. This time I found it deeply disturbing. With more water under my own bridge, I saw the characters very differently, and found Olivia's plight shocking to the point of incomprehensibilty. At the risk of sounding like my mother, I am not sure that most of the sex scenes weren't completely gratuitous; after one or two graphic descriptions, couldn't the reader have been credited with sufficient imagination to supply their own details? And I'm sure there are some people who use language as foul as Nick's, but, again, I think less would have been more. When I read this in the past, I could see the attraction between Lia and Nick. This time, I found him utterly repulsive, which undermined the whole premise of the situation. Surely he could have had some redeeming features to make the attraction more credible? Certainly the story was still compelling, but very mixed feelings this time around.
What an unexpected find! Definitely had no idea how this book was going to unfold. The characters and plot will haunt the reader long after finishing the last chapter. While it’s unlikely ‘politically correct publishers’ would ever agree to print this book now, the author has produced a story that stands up over time. Everything about this book goes against the grain of contemporary thinking but it delivers a story that sparks contemplation and discussion.
(Personally, I’d love to discuss this book with the author, in part to praise her effort for writing authentic portraits and referencing classical Greek tragedies but also to find out more about crafting a tale that still sparks controversy nearly 30 years later. While many readers that get stuck on the salacious character of Nick, I suspect they’ve missed the complexities of the story. This book is suitable for a mature audience, contains sexually suggestive situations with an underage character.)
3.5/5 Ummmm certainly a book I’d only pick up at the library. It’s genuinely a good book because it tackles the topic of grooming really well. By that I mean that there’s no romanticising of it on the narrators part. Only when the narrator speaks for Olivia is there some romanticisation which is because of how Olivia feels about the grooming. We see why and how Olivia romanticises the abuse so it is easier for us to understand why she can’t seem to walk away from it. Besides, the groomer/abuser is also written really well. He is obviously an abusive and creepy piece of shit and the author does well in showing that and just how much he has power over Olivia. However, I did feel like the explicit scenes were too much, like I do NOT wanna read about an underage girl getting raped explicitly. (But I understand that the explicitness of those scenes provides context for how Olivia feels actively about the abuse) points also removes for the sudden ending
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
As I say WTF have I spent my time reading...I thought it would get better or justice! But it's just a story about a nieve girl being abused but with no justice or (shameless to say) any smut. I don't even think underage youth would benefit as it's not giving any morals, decorum or even self dignity. Just a waste of my reading time.
SPOILERS: Olivia, nicknamed Lia, is just about to turn fifteen when her thirty-five year old mother Emma starts dating thirty-two year old Nick Winter, of the blond hair and light blue eyes. She moves him right into the house with herself and Olivia and tries to pass him off as a boarder. She lives with her jewelry designer mother and is left to her own devices most of the time. Olivia feels unloved by both parents and we can feel it. She's basically forgotten about by her forty-one year old father, who's about to marry his much younger pregnant girlfriend who he's already living with.
Nick is an awful character with no redeeming qualities. He's the type I like in fiction but I was hoping he'd get killed off. He and Olivia begin a sexual relationship with each other a couple weeks after she turns fifteen. There's a lot of sex between them and the author went for quantity of quality. Outside of lusting after Olivia, he couldn't care less about her. He gets violent a couple times and rapes her, once repeatedly smacking her and ripping her dress off, and never once apologizing for it. She doesn't care that he's done that because she's in love with him, and even gets aroused despite it. See image. I never felt the love she had for him despite her saying so several times.
Olivia gets a harebrained idea that involves pregnancy, twice. Once was fine but the story got less interesting and a bit boring when the author wouldn't let it go. The story ends very abruptly.
I enjoyed this though I don't think the writer, a Canadian woman writing British characters, is that great of a writer and doesn't really know how to write teen dialogue. Olivia and her friend Megan sounded too mature and never like the children they were. The story went on a little too long with not a whole lot happening, then it ended very abruptly. Total overuse of the expression "make love" and the word "terrific" in here too. Those words and expressions weren't true to the time this book was published. I don't quite understand the title, either. She's not a daddy's girl and Nick is seventeen-years older than her but he's only in his early thirties. She's not really his girl either.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Some very inappropriate things happen in this novel. I wish it kept going. I wish an adult had put together the pieces and that nick had to face repercussions for his actions. I suppose the thing with this story is it probably happens more than we realize.
Quite an old book & enjoyed it, but the end…. Felt like I had totally wasted my time reading the book, totally flat, as if the author had got bored of writing so left it there, unless there is a sequel?
C'était mon premier roman dans le genre Dark Romance, il y a quelques années et j'ai adoré. Tellement adoré que c'est devenu mon number one.
C'est dérangeant et c'est tordu mais il n'y a rien à faire, tu dois savoir la fin (qui n'en est pas une puisse qu'il y a un deuxième). J'ai détestée Nick car clairement la relation est malsaine mais on fini par l'aimer d'un certaine façon à travers les yeux d'Olivia.
L'auteure a vraiment une bonne plume, elle a me mettre pile sur la frontière entre ce qui est morale et ce qu'il ne l'est pas. À lire ou tout du moins essayer !
I like the way Inglis depict Olivia teen sexuality and her "first time" ,but not the "self punishment" maelstrom where Inglis push this girl,I feel Olivia character absolutely outdated in 1990 decade: Olivia seems Emmeline from Blue Lagoon..
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Quel roman troublant ... On sent à quel point leur relation est malsaine mais aussi très intense ... et on veut tout de même savoir la suite ... C'est vraiment entraînant, bien écrit et très moderne pour un livre datant de 1994 !!