The Official Description: A propulsive, scorching modern gothic, Yes, Daddy follows an ambitious young man who is lured by an older, successful playwright into a dizzying world of wealth and an idyllic Hamptons home where things take a nightmarish turn.
Jonah Keller moved to New York City with dreams of becoming a successful playwright, but, for the time being, lives in a rundown sublet in Bushwick, working extra hours at a restaurant only to barely make rent. When he stumbles upon a photo of Richard Shriver—the glamorous Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and quite possibly the stepping stone to the fame he craves—Jonah orchestrates their meeting. The two begin a hungry, passionate affair.
When summer arrives, Richard invites his young lover for a spell at his sprawling estate in the Hamptons. A tall iron fence surrounds the idyllic compound where Richard and a few of his close artist friends entertain, have lavish dinners, and—Jonah can’t help but notice—employ a waitstaff of young, attractive gay men, many of whom sport ugly bruises. Soon, Jonah is cast out of Richard’s good graces and a sinister underlay begins to emerge. As a series of transgressions lead inexorably to a violent climax, Jonah hurtles toward a decisive revenge that will shape the rest of his life.
Riveting, unpredictable, and compulsively readable, Yes, Daddy is an exploration of class, power dynamics, and the nuances of victimhood and complicity. It burns with weight and clarity—and offers hope that stories may hold the key to our healing.
Just the facts: Queer literature, fiction, frightening, confronting
Raw, frightening and thought-provoking queer fiction. This book is important and disturbing. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage is a difficult book to read. I certainly can’t say that I enjoyed it but it was thought-provoking. Books like this are integral to Society moving forwards and I feel as though they should always be promoted and read.
Jonah comes from an extremely religious family … and his escape route was to create a lie that would ruin his father. This book is about Jonah and his relationship with Richard. Richard happens to be a powerful, wealthy, successful playwright while Jonah is an aspiring writer. Jonah sets his sights on Richard; he thinks he’s attractive and he wants to meet him. What he doesn’t expect is the way their relationship begins to quickly erode the control he has over his own life.
Jonah goes from “finding a boyfriend” to being sexually and physically assaulted constantly while being held captive on a compound. Jonah is a very interesting character. He isn’t always likable and I can’t say that I even understood all his decisions. There were definitely times when I was angry with him, times when I was frustrated – but I think that’s a nod to Jonathan Parks-Ramage’s writing. But isn’t this how we deal with our trauma? We think we have it all figured out and often we do the exact opposite of what we should.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Please do not read this book if you are sensitive to some content. There are too many potential “triggers” to even list them here. This book very clearly depicts rape, abuse, human trafficking, drug use, confinement, kidnapping, and extortion.
I received an ARC of Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.