Top Ten Tuesday: Interesting Fictional Dads

This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish is a Fathers’ Day special. Incidentally, does this mean Fathers’ Day is the same in the US and UK, when Mothers’ Day is on completely different days? Weird. Anyway, I’m going for a vague ‘Interesting Dads’ theme because I didn’t feel like restricting myself to good or bad ones.

Samuel Hawley from The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
Hawley’s a lifelong outlaw, always on the run and often absent from this daughter’s life. He’s not a particularly good dad, but he’s a very protective one with the kind of backstory that would scare off any potential son-in-law.

Maverick Carter from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I reckon Maverick will pop up in a few lists this week. He’s an interesting, imperfect father figure. He cares deeply about his family but is also heavily invested in his community and loyal to his neighbourhood, even when that conflicts with his paternal duties.

Lord Capulet from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
I think I brought up his missus on the recent mothers-themed list, but Lord Capulet deserves a mention for being a rubbish parent too. He starts the play appearing to care about Juliet, putting off a potential suitor by claiming she’s too young for marriage, but later shows all this to have been a scam when he berates Juliet for not just doing as he says. He is awful.

Danny’s Dad from Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Reading this book as an adult, I was appalled at the way Danny’s dad (the poacher who leaves his young child unattended every night to COMMIT CRIMES) is romanticised. I hope that when Danny grew up he realised his dad was a disturbingly neglectful, if well-intentioned parent.

Olive’s Dad from Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
This is a very recent read. I really liked Olive’s dad, principally because of his penchant for waking up his family by loudly reciting poetry at them first thing in the morning.

Kevin’s Dad from Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge
Another recent read, this verse novel was a real find for me and I will be inflicting it on an unsuspecting class next year. Kevin, the main character, lives alone with his dad after the death of his mum. His dad’s a writer and basically just the cutest.

Dill’s Dad from The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
This dude was terrifying: a snake-handling preacher imprisoned and responsible for the massive debts Dill and his mum are left with. Really not my favourite fictional father.

Arnold Waite from Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson
A comically awful human, Arnold Waite is possibly the most man-splainy father in fiction. His letters to Natalie, his daughter, are laughably horrendous. Fictional dads like this make me grateful for my (reasonably normal) father.

Roderick LeRoux from the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Reappearing as the big baddie throughout this trilogy, LeRoux is the father of Lilac, one of the main pair in the first book, These Broken Stars. I love these books more than is healthy, and I really enjoy all the intrigue surrounding LeRoux and his massively corrupt organisation.

Mr Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
No discussion of fictional dads would be complete without a comprehensive takedown of Mr Bennet, for centuries celebrated as a comically dismissive parent when actually he’s just a terrible, awful human who despises all but one of his daughters really just because they’re girls, and who is horrible to Mrs Bennet WHO IS ONLY TRYING TO DO HER BLOODY BEST FOR HER DAUGHTERS IN A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY okay? Not that I feel strongly about this at all.

What Fathers’ Day related list did you make this week? Please leave me links. And who would you add to this list of interesting, if not brilliant, fathers?


5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Interesting Fictional Dads

  1. Stephanie says:

    You have some great picks for interesting dads! I broke my list down by worst and best, but this was a great idea 🙂 I love how your list is very eclectic. Dill’s Dad from The Serpent King was rather terrifying if only for being a snake handling preacher…that would give me nightmares for life and I’d need counseling for awhile!


  2. Alexandria says:

    Mr Bennet is horribly sexist while Mrs Bennet actually wants the best for her daughters, which in their society means making good marriages. Mr Bennet’s will says that his female family members can’t inherit and Mrs Bennet confronts him for this. So he’s sexist even for the time period. Imagine having him as your dad. No thank you.

    …I have a lot of feelings about this.


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