Words That Sustain Me: Atticus, part 2

“And then he heard a far-off car on the highway. Why, he didn’t know, but Atticus walked to the front yard, taking off his gloves, and he saw a yellow taxi heading toward the house. And while his son was still a long way off, his father rushed out to greet him.”


The novel, “Atticus” by Ron Hansen focuses on a troubled father-son relationship. Are there clues to the origins of this vexed relationship? What do you feel the future might hold for Atticus and Scott?

Atticus is a wonderfully written novel and from the beginning the author’s writing style had me hooked. The conflict between Atticus and his son Scott was something that I immediately identified with.I could relate to what was happening between father and son because their situation mirrored the experiences I had with my father.

As I look back upon my life I realize that my father, Carter Flores saw so much potential in me. And he, like Atticus, was vexed because I would not focus on realizing that potential in my life. Me and Scott share that, if we could just get it right the sky’s the limit for us. This was one of the reasons I could relate to this book so much.

The manner in which Ron Hansen put the reader on notice that Atticus’ wife Serena, was no longer with them filled me with dread. He used what she was not doing as a way of putting us in Atticus’ head and giving us a glimpse of what it was like for him to have lost the love of his life. These clues were left throughout this book and were heartbreaking for me.

I loved the closing of this book. The author used an ending that paralleled the parable of the prodigal son that is in the Bible. This allowed the reader to imagine the future possibilities for Atticus and Scott as they moved forward. I like to think that they reconcile with each other and share the rest of their lives together not wasting one more minute of it.

This ending also led me to imagine what the future might have held for me and my father. I know that if he were alive today and could see what it is I’m doing with my life now he would commend me for it. He would know that all he tried to teach me about being a man was not lost or in vain. Most importantly, he would know that that I followed in his footsteps and have become a man who is doing his best to live within the will of God. And knowing my father as I did, that would have made him the happiest and most content dad in the world. He would known that he succeeded with me. That thought makes me the most joyful son in the world!

2 thoughts on “Words That Sustain Me: Atticus, part 2”

  1. Your dad would be very proud of you. I’m keeping you in my prayers, Charlie. You have a talent for writing and I enjoy reading your posts. May God be with you in whatever the future holds for you. With love.♥️

    1. Thank you for these kind words, Sandra – I know it will mean so much to Charlie and I will be sure to pass the message along to him. Thank you again! Ali

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