Kate Flaherty faces a few family revelations following the death of her estranged father in Kaylin McFarren’s women’s novel titled Flaherty’s Crossing.
Kate is a successful artist married to equally successful attorney, Drew Coleman. They reside in Seattle, not too far from Kate’s father, Collin, who is near death from cancer. Following what is Kate’s final visit, she nearly hits a deer driving home and ends up in a ditch. She drops her cell phone, breaking it, and is forced to seek help at a nearby diner where an affable employee offers shelter and a sympathetic ear.
The visit with her father had been difficult because she and her father hadn’t been close since her mother’s death when Kate was a child—an accident Kate blames on her father. Amidst coping with her father’s death, Kate also is trying to salvage her marriage to Drew, who has threatened to leave.
As Kate prepares to bury her father, she realizes Collin Flaherty wasn’t the distant, apathetic father she perceived — and that his life-altering mistakes accompanied him to his grave and deserve her forgiveness.
McFarren’s background includes a career in public relations and marketing, which explains her intelligent and concise prose. She also does a fine job keeping the story moving with her plots, one that includes an unexpected twist. But other than the aforementioned twist, the remaining story is commonplace. A lead character having issues with a parent in adulthood only to later discover, typically after a traumatic experience, said character never understood that parent is a well-worn scenario. And the novel’s end feels like a finale out of a Harlequin or Silhouette book.
These issues may deter readers of general fiction, but McFarren seems to be following a romance-novel formula. If readers understand that before the opening page, then they won’t be disappointed.
Also available as an ebook.