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"It's hard to tear your eyes away from her grimly detailed portrait of Daddy Love . . . Oates has more knives to throw before bringing this harrowing tale to a close--but she saves the sharpest one for the very last page." --The New York Times Book Review
Dinah Whitcomb seemingly has everything. A loving and successful husband, and a smart, precocious young son named Robbie. One day, their worlds are shattered when Dinah is attacked and Robbie is taken in a mall parking lot. Dinah, injured, attempts to follow, but is run over by the kidnapper's van, mangling her body nearly beyond repair.
The kidnapper, a part-time Preacher named Chester Cash, calls himself Daddy Love, as he has abducted, tortured, and raped several young boys. He renames Robbie "Gideon." Daddy Love slowly brainwashes "Gideon" into believing that he is Daddy Love's real son, and any time the boy resists or rebels it is met with punishment beyond his wildest nightmares.
As Robbie grows older, he becomes aware of just how monstrous Daddy Love is. Though as a small boy he as terrified of what might happen if he disobeyed Daddy Daddy Love, Robbie begins to realize that the longer he stays in the home of this demon, the greater chance he'll end up like Daddy Love's other "sons" who were never heard from again. Somewhere within this tortured young boy lies a spark of rebellion, and he will soon discover just what lengths he'll go to to survive.
Joyce Carol Oates is peerless when writing about the terrors that lurk right next door, and in Daddy Love
she delivers a terrifying novel about every parent's worst nightmare come to life.