Review: The Single Dad Detour (and $150 Giveaway!)

When Litfuse Publicity contacted me and offered to send me a free book in exchange for an honest review of Tez Brooks’ new book The Single Dad Detour: Directions for Fathering After Divorce, I said okay, even though I don’t do a lot of reviews here. I didn’t know much about the book at all, other than it would probably be about single dads, and that seemed like something that might be a good fit for this space. I didn’t realize that it was Christian book, and I have to admit that made me a little nervous. I am a Christian myself, but I don’t always trust Christianity in the media. Non-Christian media coverage tends to paint Christians in a bad light, while Christian media trends very conservative. There doesn’t seem to be a lot out there for us moderate Christians with an evolving faith and conflicting biblical interpretations. Yes, there is some, but it is, in my experience, the minority. Either way, I was excited to read the book and I would like to share my thoughts about it with you.

First of all, I just want to say that, though I am not a divorced father, I can see that such a resource is needed. There are many single parenting books out there, but we are not overloaded with books about being a single father, and his Christian perspective locks Brooks into an even smaller niche that clearly has room for more voices. The book is set up with an automotive theme, as each chapter deals with “tune-ups,” “bodywork,” “taking the bus,” and other car-related metaphors. What could have been a cheesy idea actually gives the book a strong connecting thread and ties everything together in an interesting way. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of divorced parental life, and ends with some questions to answer, some scripture to read, some advice, and a prayer. It’s a good structure, and it makes the book almost like a devotional workbook.

I do have to say though, if I am giving an honest review, that what did not resonate with me was Brooks views on women. I mentioned before that I was worried about an ultra-conservative Christian viewpoint, but most of the time I happily felt myself agreeing with Brooks as he gave parental advice. When he veered into the marriage and dating world, however, we will have to agree to disagree. You know if you have read any of my other posts on this site that I feel very strongly about gender equality, which actually is quite biblical. And look, I know (because I read it) that you can justify almost anything with the Bible if you just pick and choose your favorite verses, but here’s one of my favorites anyway:

Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

There is no male and female. We are all one. I don’t understand how that seems to have gotten lost along the church’s way. Does that mean that gender does not exist and that we all have the same sexual organs? No, of course not. But it means that, spiritually, we are all equal. So when Brooks says things like “Now I’m not saying we need to feminize our role by trying to be both a father and mother. The male role is already enough at risk.” I want to say to him, of course it is! Of course it is at risk, and that’s a good thing. In Christ Jesus we are all equal. Men can be stay-at-home dads and women can run businesses, and that’s a good thing. Clinging desperately to an antiquated role does not help either men or women. There were plenty of other examples of gender bias in the book, even when he was trying to be chivalrous (and you know I’ve told you what I think about chivalry before), but the thing is, I think Tez Brooks is a good guy who has some really good advice. In the same chapter in which he warns us of losing our male roles, he advocates for decorating your apartment well. He wants men to learn to cook. He waxes poetic about how, for him, cooking is an art. He clearly enjoys it. His writing clearly indicates that men need to be able to do the traditionally female activities! It’s almost like he just can’t fully say it out loud yet. And you know, maybe for the intended audience of this book, that’s exactly how they need to hear that message.

Where Brooks really shines are his personal anecdotes and stories that give a personal account of his own failures and parenting potholes. I laughed out loud more than once, reading about some of the crazy stuff he did, and then what he had to do to make things right. His stories about losing his children were heartbreaking, and his experiences are real in a way that we can all understand, even if we haven’t been in his shoes. This is a voice and a perspective that is needed. I may not be divorced, and I hope that I never am, but my parents split up when I was in third grade. Whatever else you may take from this review, I can tell you this with full sincerity: I wish my dad had had this book thirty years ago. It would have made a world of difference.

Tez Brooks’ book is available now from Kregel Publications, and you can enter to win a copy on his blog. Oh, and also $150! Sweet! Click the links below to enter for your chance to win a “Day With Dad” and a copy of The Single Dad Detour, so you can make your own mind up!

Tez Brooks’ Day with Dad Giveaway

Tez is celebrating the release of The Single Dad Detour with a “Day with Dad” $150 cash card giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A $150 cash card (perfect for taking your kids for a “day with dad” at a baseball game, at the movies, or at home video gaming with pizza)
  • A copy of The Single Dad Detour

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 31st. Winner will be announced April 1st on Tez’s blog.



Please follow and like us:



Posted in Books, Gender, Parenting, Religion, Review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.