Hi everyone. I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to, but I did finally finish another book. It’s Casey Watson’s latest foster care memoir, I Want My Daddy. As regular readers of my blog know, I love memoirs and particularly inspirational memoirs such as these. Casey Watson is a foster carer in the UK and, in a series of books, writes about the children she’s fostered over the years, of course taking care to protect their privacy. For this reason, she writes under a pseudonym. I Want My Daddy came out last month and I ordered it off Apple Books right away.
A 5-year-old boy, Ethan, is brought to Casey in the middle of the night after the sudden death of his young mother after a drug overdose. Estranged from her parents, Ethan’s mum had been abused by her ex-partner, and began taking drugs to cope. Ethan is obviously lost and bewildered, and regularly wakes up screaming for his mum in the night. He begins to lash out at other kids at school and his behaviour becomes more volatile. When arrangements are made for Ethan to see his dad in prison, Casey recognises the name and face… It turns out she’s far more familiar with this case than first imagined.
Initially, the book dragged a bit with Ethan hardly talking, seeming pretty normal if in shock, and yet the school having stuck tons of labels onto him because of his struggles. I couldn’t quite grasp what was going on with Ethan, other than him obviously having lost his mother. Tragic as this is, having read the entire book, I think I can safely say that Ethan is quite a resilient boy.
Eventually, once I found out what caused Casey to be far more familiar with the case than she’d previously expected – something I won’t spoil here, but it wasn’t what I expected -, the story moved more quickly.
Like in most of her books, Casey never makes the people involved look all evil, no matter the bad things they did to the children she cares for. This is especially true in this book. Repeatedly, Casey says, it is not the mother or father she condemns, but drugs.
I didn’t realize until the end that this was in fact a pretty heartwarming story. I tell you this, so that those who can handle a bit of drama but want a happily-ever-after, know this story might be for them too. With me assuming Ethan was a recent foster child of Casey’s, I cannot be sure whether it indeed turned out this way long-term.
Overall, I really liked this book, but not as much as some of Casey’s other memoirs, and I gave it a four-star rating on Goodreads.
Title: I Want My Daddy
Author: Casey Watson
Publication Date: April 13, 2023