Thomas Martin is everything a man is supposed to be. He has a beautiful wife and a loving daughter, a good house on Long Island, a flourishing career at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He’s a good son and brother, taking it upon himself to support his ailing mother and adult sisters. He knows it’s his God-given duty to shield them, his girls, from the everyday horrors of the world.
I’d heard so many great, fantastic things about A Good Man by Ani Katz, I immediately found myself a copy and dived straight in! Published by William Heinemann on the 16th of January 2020, this psychological fiction will absorb you into the world of Thomas that will hold your attention until the very last page. You can grab yourself a hardback, audible or ebook version here, or pre-order a paperback copy for release on the 23rd of July.
A Good Man, wow! This novel is a atmospherically chillingly take on domestic bliss with a psychological undercurrent that draws the reader in to Thomas’ life, a man who is the centre of his family, he’s fallen in love with Miriam, his twin sisters absolutely adore him and he is his mothers crutch, emotionally and financially. Thomas was promoted to the man of the family when his father left – a reason of which the reader doesn’t know but is also aware of. Ani has an incredible talent to create a subtly emotionally impacting novel, one that is both erringly dark , as well as somewhat tragic. I fell for her writing, Ii fell hard.
Thomas has a fear, one that delves deep into his heart, he fears that he will become his father, while trying to become a father figure both to his own child as well as his sisters. This expectation of him, as well as the pressures of his personal, work and social life – how they impact on not only himself emotionally but physically. A Good Man is a micro look at a male within contemporary society, especially that of toxic masculinity where the traditional expectations of masculinity is brought into question, where with Thomas it roots back to his childhood where he was expected to be the man of the house and all the expectations that come along with it. In a society where it is seen as ‘weak’ for a man to discuss the downfalls of life, to emotionally unpack on friends, family etc. We see this with Thomas, we see how he man everything upon his shoulders, while holding everything inside him because as a male it is envisioned of them.
I loved getting into the head of Thomas, it is in this writing style that allows the reader to experience the constant development of Thomas’ character, as a reader I was switched through a kaleidoscope of emotions, especially due to Thomas’ conflicting psychological standing. The single narration had me captivated, as well as the uniquely devised plotline that was entwined with tenebrosity that especially focuses on the complex domesticity of masculinity.
How would I genre label A Good Man? It is a psychological thriller with an undertone of classical literature in relation to its expression of a more contemporary life, that has been written with a high quality of poetic prose. Ani Katz has twisted traditional gender ideals of a man within society with a modern day flare that had me thinking about the baggage that is placed upon the shoulders of men, without fore -thinking how it affects those individuals. A Good Man integrates present day themes influenced by family, work life, gender stereotyping that have both changed over time, while also staying the same.
I have rambled, I truly loved A Good Man, never have the words for a review come so difficultly but flowed so easily. I read this book in one sitting, found it to be grippingly disturbing in a way that it gradually crawls up on you. It’s a deeply personal read that Ii would highly recommend those readers who love twisted literary fiction or if you’re looking for something different, this is one to add to your TBR.
Until next time,