Reviewed By Jon Michael Miller for Readers’ Favorite
“Author Bob Seay dedicates his novel Dad ‘to all families with aging parents,’ and I cannot imagine a more accurate portrayal or one more moving.”
In Dad by Bob Seay, we meet Jacob, our narrator and protagonist, in his mid to late thirties, struggling both in his professional world and in his marriage… Despite Jacob’s honest flaws and his relentless search for self and redemption, I came to like and even to identify with him. Yes, he is largely responsible, as he admits, for his own problems. Fortunately, he is in a stable, tight-knit family, all intent on taking care of their sad, but sometimes funny dad. But I felt that Dad is the vehicle of the real underlying story, which is Jacob trying to dig himself out of the hole he has dug for himself. He meets his female spiritual twin in the person of Amelia, not really a hotel housekeeper but a refugee from nursing and an aspiring artist. She escapes from an abusive, Confederate flag-flying boyfriend into Jacob’s black Mustang convertible, nicknamed Beast, which hauls Jacob back and forth several times between Denver, Kansas City, Topeka, and Cincinnati. “We’re all doing the best we can,” says Amelia compassionately. I was both sadly moved and often amused by Jacob’s search for a better life. And along with the story, we learn a lot from the various topics Jacob ghost-writes about—nursing burnout, the Feds, Buddhism, and neo-Nazis, to name only a few. Oh, yes, and the Stanford Marshmallow Index, which somehow nibbles at Jacob’s core. And we meet a quirky, loving family in the turmoil of losing the family patriarch, who is quite an overarching backdrop in his own right. Author Bob Seay dedicates his novel Dad “to all families with aging parents,” and I cannot imagine a more accurate portrayal or one more moving.
Reviewed By Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite
“A powerful story of love and finding oneself.”
Dad by Bob Seay is an honest, moving literary work about balancing personal and career issues while taking care of an aged parent. A former history teacher, Jacob Martin now works on dubious freelance writing projects. In addition, he is currently separated from his critical wife who, like him, harbors unspoken insecurities and struggles to make any meaningful career progress. His siblings have been taking care of his dad who suffers from dementia until one day Dad decides to drive from Cincinnati to Colorado to see his son. Jacob rushes to meet his father and plans to drive him back home as he can barely support himself let alone take care of his dad. The journey proves to be more meaningful than Jacob could have initially assumed it would be.
Dad is told through Jacob’s voice, which allowed me to understand him as a person and his relationships with the people in his life. His attitude towards his father is kind and understanding, despite his own personal woes. The conversations in the book are meaningful and impactful. As Jacob explains his current life situation, the input of another person helps him put things into perspective. I loved that some humor is incorporated into the work. Jacob’s outlook on life and the specific themes he addresses are straightforward and funny. Other characters like his brother Sam, his wife, and his sister, also fit well in the story. Dad by Bob Seay covers an important and current scenario of siblings taking care of an aged parent suffering from dementia. Overall, it’s a powerful story of love and finding oneself.
The Band Room Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers’ Favorite
“An essential addition to any school or classroom library and should be added to every teenager’s reading list”
Angel anticipates a school year of riding high on his football success. When he shows up at the wrong place at the wrong time, his expectations are replaced with a ninety-day court assigned punishment of community service, expulsion from the football team, and an uncomfortable social circle. Labeled as a juvenile offender, his senior year turns into a prison of community service hours in, of all places, the Band Room. Struggling to remain civil in this foreign environment, Angel learns to adapt to the strange behavior of the band geeks while simultaneously learning the sincerity of true friendship when his mother doesn’t return from a date with her latest boy toy. When the trio of band geeks comes to his aid to locate his errant mother, Angel is filled with a new sense of gratitude and purpose.
The Band Room by Bob Seay is a unique story of social injustice, racial unfairness, and family dysfunction to which every reader will relate. The Band Room is a quick read filled with subtle humor and surprising maturity. Seay’s story is an essential addition to any school or classroom library and should be added to every teenager’s reading list. Former and current members of the high school band will recognize the essence of The Band Room, from the smells of slide oil to the cacophony of multiple instruments preparing for practice. Including the unexpected existence of human conflict and struggles of the public school teacher, author Bob Seay touches on an unexpected subtopic. Yes, teachers are people too.
The Band Room Reviewed by Pikasho Deka
The Band Room is a poignant and introspective drama about a high school senior that deals with issues of acceptance, parental relationship, addiction, and the courage to stand up for your beliefs. Author Bob Seay delves deep into the pressures of being a teenager, and the narrative flawlessly captures the anxiety and loneliness that they can go through. The Band Room also perfectly showcases the impact a teacher or a parent can have on a teenager and the choices they make. With relatable and likable characters, a well thought out plot, and suitable dialogue, The Band Room feels like more than the sum of its parts. I am glad that I read it. If you are in the mood for a well-written drama with a healthy dose of social commentary, The Band Room is the way to go.