The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

Publication Info: Published April 14, 2020 by Berkley. I read the Kindle pre-pub edition courtesy of of the Berkley, Penguin Random House and NetGalley. Other editions now avaialble.

Summary: A troubled young woman climbs through the bedroom window of an assisted living home and changes everyone’s lives, including her own.

The bedroom is shared by two elderly men, Carl Upton and Duffy Sinclair. The young woman, Josie, is Carl’s granddaughter, whom he’s never met. In fact, he barely met his daughter, having run off after signing the baby’s birth certificate. The baby’s mother was his mistress and his wife never knew about the affair.

Josie’s arrival comes as a complete shock to Carl, but also to Duffy. Carl is his best friend and they shared everything about their lives…or at least he thought they did. As for Josie, her life is in tatters after the death of her mother. She is also an alcoholic. Duffy recognizes himself in the young woman and is drawn to her, despite his better judgement.

The assisted living home is run by woman whose bottom line is rules and money, not people. Everyone lives in fear of getting tossed out if they speak up or if their health fails. Duffy and Carl decide to let Josie stay there for a week, against all house rules. They try to keep Josie a secret, but Josie doesn’t cooperate and soon all of the residents are pitching in to help her.

Comments: The Big Finish was delightful. It felt joyous and full of life, despite the ever-present specter of illness and death that is part of assisted living. I particularly liked the voice of Duffy, who told most of the tale from his perspective. In my opinion, his wry humor and witty observations elevated this novel. All of the characters seemed true-to-life. I spent quite a bit of time visiting my mother-in-law in a combination nursing home/rehab center that felt much like this place, with its activities and schedules, so I could really picture it.

My Rating: 4 STARS

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