Reviewer Michelle Kaye Malsbury:
Michelle was born in Champaign, IL. Currently, she resides in Asheville, NC
and is in her second year of doctoral studies at Nova Southeastern
University in Ft. Lauderdale with specialization/concentration in
conflict resolution and peace studies. She has over six hundred
articles published on the web and one book published thus far with
many more in the wings. Hobbies include; reading, writing, music, and
playing with her Australian Cattle Dog, Abu.
Author: Phillip Good
Author: Phillip Good
ISBN: 13: 978-0984160358
In Search of Aimai Cristen delves into father daughter relationships or lack thereof: relationships that, more or less, typify families around the globe. In this work Phillip Good is the main character along with one of his (three known and two known only in photographs) daughters, Dana. Dana has recently moved back in with her father where she is desperately seeking to understand and know him, not just on the surface, but deep down knowing.
Dana finds numerous boxes of her fathers’ musings, writings, etc., boxed up and labeled in the garage where she also notes he moves them from place to place---but why? What do they contain and how has that information made the man she knows as dad? One such box that has been shuffled from place to place over the years is replies to a newspaper ad taken out by Aimai Cristen. Dana wants to know who Aimai is and how she fits into her fathers’ life.
Through reading the letters from various respondents to those ads and asking selective questions of her father and uncle Pete Dana arrives at a more complete picture of her father in his youth and how he has progressed through his colorful life. In another box of more familial memories Dana tries to make sense of her fathers’ double Ph.D and her mothers’ dropping out of college, their divorce, her fathers’ distant persona toward his family, and life in general. Through her inquiries they talk about men, women, sex, love, drugs, parties, and life. Reluctantly, they find each other in this cathartic process. It’s about love and life.
In Search of Aimai Cristen pulls the previous books together in ways that could not have been otherwise accomplished. Phillip Good writes in this book from his daughters’ perspective, his own perspective, and his good friend Pete’s perspective. He mixes poems with personal thoughts of each person’s perspectives, phrases, and life processes to bring the reader into their conversations almost as if you are part of this story. The interaction between the characters is distant, friendly, loving, and compassionate which resonates with their emotions as this story unfolds.
Fringe issues of this book come from the time period, 1960’s and
forward. There is poignant glimpses into a free Stone’s concert
that had to be moved all around the countryside in California,
“Human-be-ins”, and psychodramas reinacted by groups of
people in need of personal release. Much of this transpires in and
around campus life at Berkeley when Phil Good may have also been
in residence. I enjoyed the confluence of the three novels most
after completing this read/review.