"John Darnton has taken this modern form (the memoir) to a new level. His story is excruciatingly personal, with painful drama and dreadful sorrow, but as a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize when he was reporting for The New York Times, he calmly researches the narrative of his life detail by detail. His heart was broken but his focus is on the facts...Luckily for us readers, Darnton's way of coming to terms with his life and his family's life was to write a gripping, moving and fascinating story about it."
Susan Cheever in The New York Times Book Review (Click here for full NYT Review)
"In his memoir, "Almost a Family," the former New York Times reporter and editor John Darnton describes the poignant process of examining and debunking the elaborately constructed defenses erected to cushion a boy growing up without a father…At key moments of revelation he forces the reader to set the book down for a moment to absorb the shockers about his parents and their relationship…His thoughtful memoir dives deeper…"
Jim Axelrod, The New York Times
" 'Almost a Family' is two haunting narratives, a sobering account of a fatherless childhood and of the relentless pursuit of evidence about a man he longed to know…In 'Almost a Family' closure arrives cloaked in pain."
Dan Cryer, The Boston Globe
" 'Almost a Family' is Darnton's story of childhood memories tragically disillusioned but ultimately reworked in a true account of his father's life. A rare, beautiful work of a journalist turning his own sharp eye on his family."
The Daily Beast
"This is not just a sentimental journey, bathed in rose-tinted light. Darnton is fearlessly honest not just about the admirable bravery and dedication of his father but also about the toll his absence took on his widow and children."
Martin Rubin, The San Francisco Chronicle