Friday, June 5, 2020

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

Reviewed by Laura

          If you have ever read and enjoyed The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg or A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, then you need to read this book. It has the requisite curmudgeon and the same sweet, sad, and heartwarming qualities with a little adventure thrown in.
          Duffy and Carl are roommates in an assisted living facility (do NOT say nursing home!) and have become best friends, confidants, and partners in crime. At least Duffy thought they were confidants until Josie, Carl’s yet–to-be-mentioned granddaughter, bursts through the window one morning as they are preparing to go to breakfast. She’s shoeless and sporting one heck of a shiner. Turns out Carl had an affair and illegitimate child; hence the granddaughter. To say Duffy is blown away would be an understatement. Carl has always been the upstanding, moral one in the friendship and helped keep Duffy somewhat restrained (remember the requisite curmudgeon?)  Imagine trying to keep a young woman hidden in an “assisted living facility” and you have some idea of the hijinks that ensue.
          It doesn’t help matters that the new owner is systematically weeding out all residents who require actual assistance and in the midst of the crisis, through no fault of his own, Duffy ends up on her list to watch. Josie adds to the stress as Duffy recognizes a fellow alcoholic and tries to help her get clean, as he did. He is hoping to redeem his own mistakes and perhaps leave a lasting legacy after all. But when a suspicious man shows up looking for Josie, things go from bad to worse.
          This book may not be quite as good as the aforementioned examples, but it sure comes close. It kept me up reading past my bedtime two nights in a row. I love books with a good main character that I can fall in love with and appreciate as a real human, warts and all. None of us are perfect and I love digging into the gold mine beneath the bluster.  I laughed, I cried, and I found my heart sufficiently warmed while reading this book. I was pleased to find it was a debut novel and will definitely be looking for more books by Ms. Fossey in the future. (Fun fact: the author used to be an aerospace engineer with a secret clearance.) Read the book, you’ll be glad you did.  You’ll cry, but you won’t be sorry.

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