August Witte is firmly opposed to having children, but after seven years of marriage, his wife is delighted to realize that she is unexpectedly pregnant. August is terrified, having never learned the first thing about being a good parent from his father, London. A widower since August was a toddler, London has always valued the game of golf more than his son.
In spite of how he hates the game, when August confronts his father he finds himself agreeing to meet each month of the pregnancy for a round of golf. In exchange, London will give him the only thing that could make August agree to pick up a club again: memories of his mother that London has written on golf scorecards since the day he met her. August quickly realizes that his father's motive is not to teach him about golf, but to teach him about life--and the old man just might know something about it that's worth sharing.
Sappy melodrama reigns in Milne's second novel (after The Paper Bag Christmas). Haunted by childhood memories of his golf-obsessed father, August Witte balks when he learns that he is going to be a father himself. August goes to his widower father, London, to confront him about his failures as a parent and reach some measure of inner peace. London instead offers him a deal: meet every month for a golf lesson and in exchange, London will give August his journal of memories of August's mother, written on golf scorecards. August agrees and as the lessons pass, he realizes that his father knows about more than golf after all. It's aggressively soft-focused, and though the conflicts between London and August are believable enough, the overarching theme is heavy-handed, while the preachiness can reach gag-worthy levels. This hits just in time for Father's Day, and the low hardcover price may incite more than a few impulse buys for the golfing man already stocked with single malt. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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