Outskirts Press (2009)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (10/17)
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.