Absent Fathers

My guest today is Carol Balawyder of Montreal. I’ve invited her to tell us about one of her new novels, “Getting to Mr. Right.”

carol balawyder

One of the underlying themes of Getting to Mr. Right is the absent father. The main protagonist, Campbell Jones, has done much research on the topic and is convinced that her father’s abandonment is to blame for her being “unlucky in love.” In this scene she meets her father at the Museum of Contemporary Art which is hosting a photo exhibit by the Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz.

Sitting there, she became a girl of nine or ten again, feeling the weight of rejection. “Why didn’t you come all those times you said you would?” she blurted out before she lost her courage. When her father gave her a puzzled look, she continued, “When I was younger, you promised to take me out and never showed up. So many times.”
Her father sat next to her and patted her knee. “I don’t know why, Cambie. I guess I was too busy.”
“You really hurt me,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “But let’s put this behind us. It was such a long time ago.” He patted her knee once more, as if that could pacify her.
She held back from saying, “You ruined my life,” unwilling to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he’d had that kind of power over her.
“Isn’t that painting of Marilyn Monroe divine?” he said.

Marilyn Monroe

All her life she’d struggled to show her father that she was worthy of his love. What about him? Was he worthy of hers? Had he ever given her the protection and support a daughter needed from her father? Had he ever been there for her in times of need?
It suddenly became clear to her. Maybe she had subconsciously wanted to validate the conclusions of her research. Girls abandoned by their fathers have difficulty developing meaningful relationships as adults. But she hadn’t been wrong about her father. She had not imagined his disregard and lack of concern for her.
Maybe the research was right – that such a background kept women from fulfilling relationships. But did that doom them to a dismal future? There was a missing link. That was, what do you do once you realize you lack your father’s love and support?

Getting to mr right

Getting To Mr. Right is available on Amazon both as an e-book and paperback. Just click on the link:


40 thoughts on “Absent Fathers

  1. Reblogged this on Carol Balawyder and commented:
    I am truly blessed and grateful for all those who have interviewed me on my latest novel Getting To Mr. Right.
    Anneli brilliantly suggested that I approach this interview through a theme. Absent fathers and their effect on women’s adult relationship with men lies at the core of my novel. In Anneli’s post I illustrate this through an excerpt on the theme of absent fathers.
    Thank you so warmly, Anneli for the fantastic job you did with the information I gave you! 🙂


  2. What a great interview. I just finished this novel last evening and I simply loved it and the characters she created. (I immediately began her other novel and it was wonderful to recognize the same characters.)

    This novel is so well done and when an author creates protagonists who we enjoy meeting via print, we’ll get hooked, because like true friendships, we never want to say goodbye. I do hope others will find it and enjoy it as much as I did. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellie, I’m so happy that you enjoyed the novel. There are bits of my characters that are also in Kate Madison in your novel Sometimes Marriage is Real Crime. I guess we both wrote about universal issues important to women. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is why I bought her book. The theme of ‘Absent Fathers’ is so fertile, precisely because of the wide spectrum that “absenteeism” involves. I publicly “blame” my father for ruining my relationships with men, simply because of his “misogyny”. Men who are misogynistic simply cannot raise healthy daughters. The “misogyny” will be transmitted to the daughter immediately. However, since I have publicly vented myself here, I will add that “blames” and accusations lead to just that: “venting”, and being mindful and letting go is what has worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the paper copy of Getting to Mr. Right I quoted a comment which Geraldine posted on Amazon. Here’s the quote:
      “If you have ever struggled to find Mr. Right, have dipped into the sometimes perilous waters of online and particularly over 40 dating, this is a must read,.”
      . Geraldine is the author of Laughing AT the Grim Reaper: Gems of Wisdom for Aging Well.
      Thank you once more Geraldine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I finished it last night, and listened to the whole book through the iPad “Speak Screen” feature under the “Accessibility” menu of the iPad. Carol’s book emphasizes the importance of fulfilling a career before committing yourself to a relationship. Her Campbell personage is a champ. She undergoes huge sacrifices and inner struggles to understand her past, but at the same time fulfill a career, helping other women. There’s also a lesson in this book. Carol emphasizes that failed relationships with absent fathers do indeed affect not only future relationships, but career choices. The other lesson here is that fulfilling a career is not an isolated process. One must accomplish it with other people, through sharing and asking for advice, seeking help. She also portrays Felicity, an older woman also dealing with her past. I highly recommend the book, and it came at the right time for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marie, I didn’t know that one could listen to my book through iPad Speak Screen. Awesome. I’m extremely pleased that the book came at the right time for you. Although the premise of the book revolves around prince charming, I was aiming for something more substantial and your comments make me think that I have in some ways succeeded. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It means so much to me. 🙂


      • Yes, with the “speak screen” feature of the iPad, one can listen to an entire book. The issue is this: the proprietary voices of the iPad themselves sound a bit “robotic”, but to me they are fine and do the job. The reason “Audiobooks” became so successful was because they use human voices, and this is of course better, but it’s more costly for both authors and readers. The iPad only gives you a limited number for voices, but if you are using a laptop, you can download very sophisticated voices with “prosodic features”, which sound more human, but take up more storage in your hard drive. Here are the instructions for the iPad, but look for the part that says:
        “Speak Screen”:


        Liked by 1 person

  5. The “Alex” voice is the best voice that the iPad has, because it has prosodic features (sounds more human). I was able to finally download Alex today, because yesterday I didn’t give it enough time. You have to go to “Accessibility”, then “Speech”, then “Speak Screen”. After this you have to go to “Voices”. After you go to “Voices” you have to press: “English”, then there’s the “default” voice which I used, and then there’s “Alex”. This is were it gets tricky. You want to choose “Alex” but wait for it to download. After it has downloaded it should read “using 869” MB. Alex has a much more human voice.


    • After you swipe your two fingers across the screen, a sound bar comes up, with an icon of a turtle and an icon of a bunny rabbit. This is to control the speed of Alex’s voice. Once you get the voice going with the right speed, It sounds in my own opinion excellent! The tricky part about using Alex is that it sometimes freezes before you start reading in Kindle, so I had to restart the iPad a couple of times to get Alex to work again. This is the only drawback. If it doesn’t work, then it needs a restart. The default voice, is less prone to freezing.


  6. I feel like thumping this Dad. I have a few friends whose ex’s are competing for the title of Australia’s worst Dad and it’s terrible when you know what that does to their kids for life and now, while their kids are still kids, they have a chance to turn things around and yet, for whatever reason, they don’t.
    I really liked the excerpt when I clear the decks a bit, I’ll have to read it. I’m good with blogs because they’re short and sweet and out house is overflowing with good intentions but it makes a big difference having met you through our blogs and I’m starting to think one more book isn’t to make such a difference. Our entire house is a booktastrophe!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Will do. I have two pretty academic type books beside my bed, which really aren’t bedtime reading one of resilience and the other on brain plasticity. The author of “The Brain which Changes Itself” Dr Norman Doidge has put our a new book about how the brain heals. It looks very interesting although I think I’ll be reading it at my desk to take it in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Will do. I have two pretty academic type books beside my bed, which really aren’t bedtime reading one of resilience and the other on brain plasticity. The author of the Brain which changes itself has put our a new book about how the brain heals and it looks very interesting although I think I’ll be reading it at my desk to take it in.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s