Book Review: Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

Joe Biden has a story that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. He lost his wife and newborn daughter in a car crash in his 30's and now during the last years of his time as Vice President, he lost his son to brain cancer. Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose is a novel that looks back at this time of his life, with harrowing detail. 

I've always been a big Joe Biden fan. I remember watching him on a daytime talk show when I was in college and hearing his story when he was running for President. It's hard not to like him. He seems very personable and has a story that anyone can relate to. When he became Vice President, you could see he had a deep devotion to his country and his family. This novel reinforces that more than anything. He felt a duty and obligation to both and struggled with how to balance it. When his son was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, he had to try to balance it all the best he could. Some of the stories of Biden taking phone calls in a hospital conference room dealing with international relations while his son was battling cancer in the next room got me choked up. He does have several diary entries as well from various times and you could still feel the raw pain he was enduring. 

The one part of the novel I truly struggled with was Biden's decision of whether or not to run for President in 2016. I can only imagine how much pain he was going through, and making a decision like running for President has to be incredibly hard in the best of times. I didn't think though that he did a very convincing job of giving a rationale for his decision not to run as well as his process of making that decision. Part of that is because it wasn't a perfect science I'm sure and the other part of me felt like he shied away from talking about it.

Regardless I found this book to be beautiful. It's a story of a man who desperately loves his family, and is devoted to his country. I've been a Biden fan for a long time, but this only pushed that further for me. Joe Biden 2020 has a nice ring to it.