This is a lovely book. Originally the four male authors went on tour talking about their relationships with their fathers. Now they have published pieces about their fathers and added their experiences of being fathers or father figures. It’s not often that you find men writing so openly about their relationships and it’s all the more welcome for that. Read it all in one go or dip into it - although once you’ve started it’s hard to stop.
I don’t think my father ever left the army. It was imprinted on him like the tyre tread of a heavy military vehicle. I remember in particular two encounters with him, unusual because his interactions with his children were generally quite impersonal. He mostly dealt with us as a group, lined up as if we were a small, crack regiment he was inspecting. His demeanour was invariable formal, strict and terrifying. Were his hands behind his back? Did he have a swagger stick tucked under his arm? He had perfected a stare which seemed to penetrate any lie, or even the smallest straying from the truth. Minor infractions of behaviour prompted a volcanic display of temper.