Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Father's Love; David Goldman

Author: David Goldman
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Viking
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Date Completed: 5/4/2011 
Setting: n/a
Rating: 4/5
Recommend: yes

A Father's Love tells the sometimes painful story of David Goldman's five year ordeal, in bringing his son back to his home in New Jersey from Brazil.

In 1997 when David was working in Italy, he met a Brazilian woman named Bruna Bianchi Soon the couple fell in love. The two married and made their home in a New Jersey seaside community where David resided, and two years later in 2000, their son Sean was born.

Since Bruna's family was from Brazil, the couple would often travel there a few times a year.  In 2004,  Bruna and Sean flew to Brazil for a two week vacation. David was to meet them there the following week, but four days into her visit she called her husband David to say that she wanted a divorce, as well as full custody of their son Sean.  Shocked and in a state of disbelief, for over three years David struggled to find someone to help him to get his abducted son back. He made several trips to Brazil to see his son, but was repeatedly denied access to the boy, except for occasional and brief telephone calls. Gifts and cards which were sent to Sean by his father were sometimes returned.

Despite international court battles and judgments, his wife refused to give up their son. She divorced her husband David, and she married a prominent Brazilian attorney named Juno Paulo Lins e Silva.  In August of 2008, the unimaginable occurred when Bruna died giving birth to her new husband's baby.  Bruna's new husband seemed even more determined to see that David remained out of his son Sean's life, and he petitioned the court in Brazil to have Goldman's name removed from his birth certificate after Bruna passed away.

David Goldman, however, had no intentions of giving up on ever seeing his son again. More determined than ever, and assisted by New Jersey State Rep Chris Smith, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, David was finally successful in returning Sean to his home in New Jersey on Christmas Eve in 2009.  Even though Goldman was successful in bringing his son home, the Brazilan family continued to bring court actions against Goldman, believing that Sean should be raised by Bruna's mother.

Each day since Sean returned home with his natural father, the two have grown closer and closer, establishing routines and trust and respect for each other. Even though not every day has been perfect, Sean is thriving in school and at home, since being returned to his birthplace and the home where his life began.

Well told, A Father's Love, is a poignant look at just how far a parent will go to do what is right on behalf of their child. I enjoyed this book, and feel that it not only tells the Goldman's story, but opens the communication to expose the fact that this is not an isolated case. International child abduction by parents is a very real problem that needs more exposure, and harsher penalties for offenders.

22 comments:

  1. Every time I would see him on the news, my heart would break. I did not realize there was a book. Thanks for this.

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  2. Wow, this sounds heartbreaking. I think this kind of thing happens more than people know.

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  3. I remember this story! I'm glad that their relationship has healed. It is shocking how these international parenting issues can go so bad.

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  4. This book only proves that real-life stories are definitely more poignant and incredible than any fiction. Thanks for your review!

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  5. What a horrifying thing to happen! The sad thing is even though it was a happy ending for Sean and his father, it's not so for so many others in the same situation.
    Thanks for the review!

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  6. Holy cow, what a story! I can't imagine why the step father would want to keep the child away from his father, except spite.

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  7. This sounds like a very powerful and moving book, and one that would be well worth reading. Thanks for the excellent review!

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  8. Wow I can't even begin to imagine the father's heartbreak.

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  9. Evidently I've been out of the loop. I haven't heard anything about this man's story but it sounds fascinating. Thanks for the review. I'll be checking the library on my next trip.

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  10. I have heard of this sort of thing happening, although it seems so foreign (sorry!) to me. Very nice review, Diane.

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  11. I followed this story like a hawk and was so relieved and happy for Goldman when they were reunited. I look forward to checking in with them to see how things are going. You knew it wasn't going to be easy but hopefully time will heal.

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  12. Omg, my skin just crawled with horror -- vaguely I recall hearing this in the news -- I can't even imagine Goldman's fear and apprehension. How terrible.

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  13. That sounds pretty intense...and good too!

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  14. I remember following this story on t.v.; sounds like I would really enjoy reading the full story.

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  15. Absolutely inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the visit. :)

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  16. I remember seeing this story on Dateline or something. I felt so bad for this man.

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  17. What a horrifying story! I had no idea there was a book about it.

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  18. I just can't even imagine something like this happening. What a night mare!

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  19. I saw this story on tv-it was quite sad.

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  20. I know I saw your review of this earlier and I was almost postive I had commented on it, but I guess I didn't. Between your review and an interview I heard with the author, I'm really wanting to read this book. He is a remarkable man and one that I have a lot of respect and admiration for.

    The interview I heard was for his book and it was on The Diane Rehm Show. Here is a link if you are interested.

    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-05-11/david-goldman-fathers-love

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  21. Ryan, I followed this story pretty closely as well, as I really felt for this father. Thanks for the link as I had not seen this previously.

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