Buddy Cordova is a small time criminal defense lawyer who thinks of himself a modern day Atticus Finch. He is the sort of attorney who represents people who are often viewed as “probably guilty” and many of his clients will indeed wind up spending some time in jail, even with his help. While he is often painfully awkward around women, he falls deeply in love with a part time Kindergarten teacher and army widow with a young daughter. This love brings the three together into a loving family, but Buddy has a dark secret and when tragedy strikes the idea of what makes a father will be questioned in the pages of Good Buddy.
Buddy and his mother have started a new life together away from the darkness of their pasts. In this new life they are able to avoid the dangerous man from their past, Kenny. He was Buddy’s stepfather, but after the stillbirth of a younger sibling, Kenny fell into a pattern of drinking and violence which his mother became too afraid of to stay. When he was young, Buddy was packed up by his mother and they fled into the night. Their new lives have allowed them to grow and his mother was able to find love again. Buddy also was able to grow up away from fear and while he has always been awkward around women he has fallen in love with Julie, who was widowed, and the two start a family together with her daughter Molly. While their own family dynamic is beautiful, the past will emerge and something truly horrible will strike this newly formed family.
Good Buddy is a poignant story that moves between the past and present to share the details of the lives of Buddy and his mother. While there is so much love in the story, there is also the issue that they have had to hide so much about themselves in order to try and be safe. Their past is tragic and there are elements about his mother’s life that not even Buddy really knows about. Dori Ann Dupré crafts a complex story about relationships and people finding their family and becoming more through love. I was preparing myself for sadness after reading the back of the book and while I will say it is definitely sad, the moment will break your heart, but you will also see love and a desire to make it through this moment. Buddy wants to ensure that love continues on and he wants to be the best father he can be even in the darkest moments of life. While there is tragedy the love and provocative storytelling in this work is well done. You can get your copy of Good Buddy today!