Fathers and Daughters

Molly McKool, Author, Mollie McKool, Author, Billy Porterfield, Author Taylor Publishing Company (TX) $14.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-87833-579-4
Western moods and scenes color the book as both Porterfield, a former columnist for the Dallas Times Herald , and McKool, a freelance photographer, tend to set their subjects against Texas backgrounds. Porterfield's piece about a father and daughter returning from a weekend in Mexico and meeting with a border guard's resentment of the older man with a beautiful young woman falls flat and oddly flirts with overtones of incest. More poignant essays describe a couple's arduous attempts to have a baby despite conception obstacles (although the Jewish lovers are tastelessly described as ``striving descendants of Abraham'') and a father who has a nervous breakdown, reverts to his daughter's childhood world and allows only her to care for him. In McKool's black-and-white pictures, fathers and daughters hug on a park bench, talk at the beach, work side by side at the ranch, etc; we are struck most by the love and the physical resemblances. Though the people go unnamed, at least one familiar face appears: retired Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Roger Staubach. While the text is not intended as a commentary on the photos, or vice versa, too often the two fail to work together to create a more powerful whole. Ultimately, readers remain unsure of what makes the majority of their subjects interesting to McKool and Porterfield. And while the book is modest and personal, celebrating the fact of father-daughter relations can be vague and sentimental unless rendered with more detail and insight than this book possesses. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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