Tuesday Book Review: “She’s My Dad”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

she's my dad by iolanthe woulff

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She’s My Dad

by Iolanthe Woulff

ISBN: 9781432744052

Synopsis*:

“Don’t hate, Nicholas. Hate destroys everything. Don’t let it destroy you…”

For decades, ultra-liberal Windfield College has been a thorn in the side of Northern Virginia’s hidebound elite. When a teaching position unexpectedly becomes available, the school hires a former male graduate – now a transsexual woman named Nickie Farrell – as an assistant professor of English. Hoping to find peace, Nickie keeps her secret under wraps until ambitious lesbian student reporter Cinda Vanderhart outs her. And Cinda has noticed something else: both Nickie and a young townie waiter named Collie Skinner have a genetic quirk which causes their eyes to be different colors. Convinced that the similarity is no coincidence, Cinda begins an investigation to discover the connection between them.

Meanwhile, in a death-bed confession as she succumbs to years of brutality at the hands of her disgraced cop husband, Collie’s mother Luanne reveals that his birth resulted from an illicit affair she had with a long-vanished Windfield college senior named Nick Farrington. Shattered by his mother’s death, Collie turns for comfort to Robin Thompson, a gentle-hearted Christian co-worker at the upper-crust Foxton Arms restaurant. As Nickie is stalked by a pair of homicidal sociopaths, Robin finds herself entangled not only in Cinda’s investigative machinations but also a murderous plot by former U.S Ambassador and tycoon Eamon Douglass to eradicate the hated college with a suicide detonation of a Cesium 137 dirty bomb. Lives and secrets hang in the balance until everything comes to a head on the morning of Windfield’s annual spring picnic: April Fools Day.

Filled with richly-drawn characters and building to a stunning climax, SHE’S MY DAD is a story about the destructiveness of hate, the power of love, and the redemptive triumph of good over evil.

Like her title character Nickie Farrell, Iolanthe Woulff is a transsexual woman. A fifty-nine-year-old Princeton-educated English major, she lives in Palm Springs, CA, where for several years she wrote a column in a local magazine about the challenges of gender transition. As the eldest child of author Herman Wouk, storytelling has always been dear to Ms. Woulff’s heart. Her hope is that besides providing a suspenseful read, SHE’S MY DAD will help to dispel some of the widespread misconceptions about transsexual people.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Author Iolanthe Woulff has once again written about issues that impact all of us. She hits every point head on without sugar-coating anything. In this book, “She’s My Dad,” the author addresses hate, specifically blind prejudice and how each of us handles it.

In a small town in Virginia, a wealthy man disowns his son because of his sexuality, but this one surviving son is his sole heir. The son chooses to use his inheritance to build a university where all individuals are accepted without judgment or prejudice, however many of the local people are not happy with the ideals of the university.

In 1979, Nicholas Farrington had an affair with a married woman, and unbeknownst to him, they have a son Nicholas “Collie” Skinner. No one has heard from Farrington since he suddenly disappeared.

Now 25 years later a new engaging and dynamic professor Nickie Farrel, has been hired at a local liberal college. Nickie is hiding a huge secret–she is a transsexual woman. There are individuals threatening to expose Nickie’s secret and cause trouble for the school. Cinda Vanderhalt, an aggressive journalism student, will do anything to get that “big” story that will make her famous.  Eamon Douglas, a former Ambassador, is determined to get rid of that “fag” loving college and all the gay students and faculty.

The author provides powerful insight into the destructiveness of hate, the love of an abused mother, and learning that we all have basic needs and desires. We fear what we don’t understand. Many will not take the time to become more knowledgeable about these fears, but prefer to keep hatred and prejudices inside until they lose control and do harm to others.

Woulff’s characters provide amazing insight into the turmoil that we as individuals and society experience when others do not fit into our “accepted” roles. She provides very controversial topics, and subplots that will have readers re-thinking their stance on their values and beliefs.

Readers will come away from this read with new knowledge and hopefully more understanding and a better person. I highly recommend “She’s My Dad” by Iolanthe Woulff to everyone; you will remember this book long after you finish reading.

– reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

Other Reviews

I picked this book up to read on a recent trip. I was intrigued by chapter 3 and had trouble putting it down by chapter 7. The story line is multi-dimensional and complex in its presentation. This book did a really great job of helping me to understand some of the complex social issues facing our nation and world today, and I am a better human being for having read it. My heart is more open to people of different social upbringing and sexual orientation after the author’s magnificent presentation of a side of an issue to which I had no previous exposure.

Most of us don’t spend much time thinking what it would be like to have been born the opposite gender, or born with the feeling of being assigned one physical gender with the inner feeling of belonging to the opposite gender. Today’s society has little room for the small minority of people with gender identity issues. Because they are in the minority does not make them insignificant and unimportant.

What the author accomplishes by telling her story allows her to demonstrate the universal truths that bind us together as a human race – despite our differences in beliefs, ethics, politics, etc. we all have the same basic needs and desires, and our differences pale in comparison to our similarities despite how things may seem at first glance. We fear what we do not understand. I now understand things I did not prior to reading this book. I will probably be forever changed, in a good way, for having read and understood this book and the point of view it portrays.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Sidney D. Lehr

I just finished “She’s My Dad” and I thought it was excellent. It got me very wrapped up in the characters early on and kept me that way right through the whole book. Well, as it was, not through the WHOLE book! Seems I didn’t really know what “Epilogue” meant and ended the book before I read that part. Being so wrapped up as I was and anxious to see how things ended, bad over evil I hoped, where I ended caused me so much anger that I threw the book on the floor! God, it couldn’t end this way!! It just couldn’t! It was 11pm, I turned off the light and rolled over trying to sleep. The next day I read the Epilogue! It’s probably not recommended that one read She’s My Dad that way but looking back it set me up for a wonderful high! I loved it all through the book and highly recommend it. Definitely not too long for the story that was told.

– reviewed on Amazon by InfoSeeker

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