Erik Schroder abandoned his German identity as a teenager and adopted the Camelot surname to become Erik Kennedy, a choice that would follow him through adulthood. As a stay at home dad, he develops a close bond with his young daughter, Meadow, but loses the connection he once had with his wife. Following their separation and custody battle, Erik takes Meadow on a trip that will eventually lead to the unraveling of his carefully designed life.
Schroder had me weighing several issues back and forth. Can someone still be a good person if they set out with good intentions, but are continuously hurting the people they love? Especially if there is self-interest at the center of that hurt? I was battling with my feelings toward Erik throughout the whole novel. I couldn’t help but feel bad for him at several points, as it was clear he desperately loved his daughter. However, he was so focused on piecing together a perfect life (and avoiding the mistakes of his parents) that he ended up creating horrific situations for himself.
Most of Schroder is not pleasant, even a little painful to read. But Gaige’s narrative style works well and there are some great moments between Erik and Meadow, particularly nearing the end of their journey. Definitely a story worth reading.