My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Charles Behrens is a fifty year old, recently divorced father of two teenagers. The stress of his unexpected divorce has caused a minor breakdown and he’s under the care of a psychiatrist, whose treatment includes an experimental drug called XYZ-0714. As his treatment progresses, Charles is pleased to find that the drug decreases his anxiety and his increasing lucid dreams are just a minor side effect.
A cross-country airplane trip prompts aviophobic Charles to take three times his recommended dosage of XYZ-0714. The flight goes well, but the train ride from the airport to his mother’s house does not. After a major train derailment leaves Charles dazed and stranded, he soon finds things are even stranger than he thought. He’s somehow been transported to his hometown of Hamptonville, Long Island in the year 1948.
How many of us wouldn’t want to go back in time to create new memories, to change or undo some things we might regret or simply to relive some of our life’s most precious moments? Charles Behrens, aka Charles Barkley, experiences all of this and more. Meeting and having the opportunity to coach his teenaged dad definitely tugged at my heartstrings. In fact, much of Coaching Dad was beautiful, sentimental and movie-worthy. Although I’m not much of a basketball fan, Fred Phillips was able to expertly describe the games and subsequent championship in an exciting and thoroughly engrossing manner. It certainly kept my attention and caused me to read on anxiously. It’s obvious the author is a basketball fan and he’s injected the sport in to the story wonderfully.
I wondered how Fred Phillips would wrap up the story and was not at all disappointed. Coaching Dad comes to a satisfying and lovely conclusion. Be sure to keep some tissues nearby. The author even included some final follow-up details regarding the book’s major characters.
Coaching Dad is imaginative, emotional, charming and interesting! Fred Phillips has managed to combine time-travel, romance, slice-of-life and basketball all in one highly engaging book. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a feel-good tale of life, love and family. I will definitely look for more of Fred Phillips’ books!