A benevolent father attempts to allay the confusion of his son’s post-college life.
There have been many books about college graduates’ fish-out-of-water experiences as they enter today’s workforce. This collection offers the philosophical musings of a concerned, loving father, similar to Harry H. Harrison Jr.’s Father to Son: Life Lessons on Raising a Boy (2013) and Walker Lamond’s Rules for my Unborn Son (2009). In this case, however, debut author Wood addresses his adult son Josh directly, noting that Josh needs more wide-ranging guidance and advice than he did when he was growing up. Wood asserts that “people who are perfect aren’t very interesting” and that recent graduates should “surround [themselves] with imperfect people” and view failure as something that builds character. He stresses the importance of staying humble while remaining confident, and of feeling proud of one’s achievements while looking for ways to help others. Throughout, the author offers warm reminders of parental support and provides comfort to a son who’s nervous about leaving his insular undergraduate years. However, the book’s recurring warnings against “easy” women and settling down too soon give the book a firm heteronormative slant that may not suit all audiences, and it often focuses on how to lead a life in an anachronistic man’s world, in which women are like “fine wine.” That said, the book offers a traditional, straightforward message that becomes clear by the final page: In life, one must bravely view failures as opportunities to learn, navigate relationships with caution, and remember that one’s parents are always a phone call away.
A balm to calm worried thoughts of the future and a love letter to traditional family values.