FIVE STARS It was
extremely difficult to put this book down once I started reading it. Set in the
1940's, this captivating read tells the true story of the author's parents,
Bouvette Sherwood and Father Hughie Hewitt The problem is she is a successful
Broadway producer and he is a catholic priest. Their story is fraught with
tragedy as the "powers that be" within the catholic church try to destroy them
rather than have the church face scandal and embarrassment. Everybody Calls My
Father, Father is riveting and inspiring. Many thanks to the author, Tim Anders for
sharing this story with the world. What a movie this would make!!
FIVE STARS Although Tim
Anders has been a children's book author, he has produced an excellent adult
novel. This novel contains a surprising mixture of intrigue and suspense, joy
and sadness, seriousness and humor. It is easy reading, yet captivating. I
thoroughly enjoyed sharing the experiences of Tim's parents on whom this novel
is based and look forward to other novels by him.
FIVE STARS The compelling
tale on the pages of Everybody Calls My Father, Father, based on a true story opens in a
dim bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side where a lovely young woman sat across
from a slender man in his thirties. It was Rao's Italian Restaurant where the
aroma of marinara sauce filled the air. It was their first meeting, followed by
an evening filled with good food, interesting conversation and Hughie Hewitt was
Everybody Calls My Father, Father a fictionalized tale based on the true story centered
on the writers parents, she, Bouvette -Boo- Sherwood, a successful producer and
actress of New York Broadway, and Hughie Hewitt, who does not reveal that he is
a Catholic priest who is one step from being an alcoholic.
When Hughie realizes he has fallen in love with Boo he asks his childhood chum
for advice. Vicente Rao is more than a little taken aback but does offer the
simple notion that Hughie must choose, he simply cannot continue as a priest AND
have a sweetheart. It is one or the other.
The narrative is driven by the energy of Bouvette Sherwood, who is a successful
New York Broadway producer and actress. As their romance develops into a tangle
of anticipation, stratagem, betrayal, and romance Bouvette naively offers to
become a Catholic so that the pair can marry. She is non Catholic and has no
idea that priests not only do not marry; they do not have children.
The lives of Hughie, Boo, their children, Roxanne and Tim, as well as Boo's
staunch ally, and Vincent Rao are all intertwined, set down and proffered for
the reader to examine. Separation, Bellevue Hospital, a foster home, privation,
mistreatment and worse, jail, a private detective, the wrath of a Monsignor bent
on becoming a Bishop and will let nothing stand in his way, not a wayward
priest, not two small children, not a woman he brands as Jezebel, and a final
goodbye all move the narrative to a compelling end.
Writer Anders' mother often thought many years that she might write a book about
her life in New York both that as a Broadway actress, and how she had fallen in
love with a married man, a man who was married to his church, loved her, but
could never leave his first love.
As a teen Anders and his mother discussed her life on Broadway and her
relationship with his father. Anders praises his mother's buoyant, never give up
mind-set as the motivation for his writing his Life Lessons series of children's
books. Following his mother's death Anders determined he would write her story.
Everybody Calls My Father, Father is both a love story and a tale of the force held over
priests by the Catholic Church during the 1940s. Somehow the notion that a
priest might want marriage and a family was viewed as something so irrational
the church leadership would do nearly anything to prevent it taking place.
Anders' account is based on the stories told to him by his mother filled in with
a bit of romanticism and hope that may or may not have been part of the real
story. The writer's descriptive account of the setting is compelling, draws the
reader in to the setting, the relationship between Boo and Hughie is believable,
albeit from the outset it is one that the reader knows cannot have a happy ever
after type ending.
Writer Anders is a skilled author, presents his tale well, his characters are
well fleshed and settings are clearly delineated. Dialogue is at times gritty,
some sexuality included may turn away some writers.
Mesmeric and easily read Everybody Calls My Father, Father is presented as a tribute by
a son for the love and relationship he wishes his parents had. We cannot help
but commiserate with both Boo and Hughie to some degree, although I am troubled
today that the leadership of the church during the 1940s seems to be far more
distressed that the idea a priest might want marriage and family; viewing it as
far more horrific than the child abuse which we now know was being carried out
by members of the clergy. Easily read, hard to read. Happy to recommend for
those who enjoy slice of life type narratives.
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