Yes, Daddy

Jonathan Parks-Ramage. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-0-358-44771-9
Parks-Ramage debuts with an uneven exploration of abuse at the hands of powerful men in the New York City theater world and the aftermath of violence. In 2011, college student Jonah Keller’s preacher father forces him into gay conversion therapy, and Jonah flees his home in Illinois for New York City, where he hopes to become a writer. There, he works as a waiter and meets Pulitzer-winning playwright Richard Shriver, and is thrilled to receive continued attention via text messages (“Daddy could be my new drug,” thinks Jonah, in between bumps of cocaine during a shift). Just months into their relationship, Richard invites Jonah to stay at his compound in the Hamptons for the summer. Jonah is thrilled, yet after arriving he notices the young, handsome gay waiters in Richard’s employ are speckled with bruises, and considers leaving after receiving a warning from one of them. Then Richard manipulates Jonah into staying, and Jonah is raped by Richard and his friends. The final act, which finds Jonah working as a magazine writer in 2017, adds some depth as Jonah processes how he handled the abuse. Unfortunately, Parks-Ramage’s frantic pacing and thin characters leave little breathing room, making Jonah’s reckoning difficult to connect with. Despite the explosive material, this ends up fizzling. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-0-358-44791-7
Compact Disc - 272 pages - 978-0-358-44900-3
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