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Reviewed by Samantha Gregory for Readers' Favorite
Failing at Fatherhood: A Book for the Imperfect Father by Jack Barr is the story of the birth of Jack's daughter, Marley, and her diagnosis of Down's Syndrome. Jack shares his feelings about the diagnosis and how it affected him in the early part of his daughter's life. He becomes angry at his wife, Marley, and God over the diagnosis, but instead of talking to anyone about it, he bottles it all up. As the book goes on, Jack begins to accept his daughter's diagnosis.
Jack Barr has written about a difficult event in Failing at Fatherhood, but in the early chapters you don't really have any sympathy for him. His reaction is completely selfish - he is only worried about himself and how everything is affecting him. He has already written off his daughter before she has a chance to prove him wrong. Children with Down's Syndrome can live very full lives. Gradually, Jack learns to accept it and comes to terms with it. He tells us about his own childhood and the experiences he had with his own father and how they shaped him.
There is a strong Christian influence in the book and Jack works in Thailand teaching people about God. Many parents of Down's Syndrome children will tell you that, while it can be difficult at times, they wouldn't change their child for anything. Having Down's Syndrome does not define a child, it is just a part of them. I think the book is interesting to read for parents of children born with a disability.