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Reviewed by Janet Jensen for Readers' Favorite
The Daddy Diaries by Paul Kemp chronicles a year in the life of the father of two active young boys. “What started out as a way to chronicle my sons' younger years for their later enjoyment,” he writes, “evolved into a way to vent my frustrations while I tried to overcome the mediocrity in the workplace while my employers shipped our jobs overseas, and then turned into a way for me to deal with my grief and then the emotional aftermath of my marriage.” As described, the diary is a mixture of ups and downs and anecdotes of daily work and family life. Originally a therapeutic tool, he found pleasure and importance in recording insightful Dad-son moments.
The Daddy Diaries is a touching account of fatherhood, and Kemp’s tenderness melted this reader’s heart, perhaps because my husband and I have raised three active sons. However, as it appears in the form of diary entries, there is much repetition and the pace of the storytelling is therefore somewhat slow. I found myself waiting for “the plot” or “the point” and then realized that journal entries do not rely on these literary devices. With a caveat for some adult language, I give The Daddy Diaries four stars for its honesty and the author’s ability to inject insight and love into the smallest of events in his children’s lives, savoring moments he will share with them as they grow older. All little boys should be so lucky.