Our Father Summary
Marilyn French

Everything you need to understand or teach Our Father by Marilyn French.

  • Our Father Summary & Study Guide

Our Father Summary

Despite the grim premise and the repeated assertion that their father's acts ruined each woman's life, the novel's theme is positive. Stephen's many marriages and his deliberate acts to isolate them meant the sisters grew up apart. In the case of Elizabeth and Mary, they knew one another but each was full of envy of the other. Yet when the women meet as adults, their individual, cautious revelations and honest reactions to each other gradually overcome their suspicion. The four have vastly different incomes, lifestyles, and sexual or marital status, the signals by which the outside world most often judges and classifies women. But their bond of blood and shared experiences ultimately leads to mutual love.

Stephen's mechanisms of control: secrecy, rage, isolation, power plays backed with money, are defeated once their objects start talking to one another honestly. His death, once his daughters bluntly confront him as a...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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