Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

In The Big Finish, 88-year-old Duffy Sinclair lives in Centennial, an assisted living facility. Centennial is one of only two such homes in his area and the better of them by far. His roommate, Carl, is a man Duffy looks up to. Carl's a good person while Duffy has a history. But, when Carl's secret granddaughter, Josie, shows up and asks to stay at the nursing home with them, Duffy is flabbergasted. There were supposedly no secrets between him and Carl.

And, now Duffy's life has suddenly become much more complicated than making it to the right room for meal time or activities and catching the bus for an outing to Walmart. Now, he has to worry about the fact that a young lady wants to stay with them, breaking the rules. Duffy is determined not to be a rule-breaker because he doesn't want to end up at the other nursing home, a place where they care less about you and people go to die. One resident has already been kicked out of Centennial for a slight infraction and the new owner is remodeling her room, hoping to make more money from a future tenant.

When Duffy finds out Josie has a secret of her own, he offers to help. Duffy faced the same life-long challenge till a little over a decade ago and he knows the struggle. But, having Josie around is causing more trouble than even Duffy imagined. Will Duffy end up at the dreaded other home, Simmons, where people go to die? Will he be able to help Josie? And, will anyone be able to help her find her path?

Recommended - There is so much more to The Big Finish than I expected. Josie shows up with a black eye and no shoes so you know something is off. But, the more Duffy discovers about Josie, the more he becomes determined to help her and, maybe, in the process redeem himself. I don't want to give too much away because I liked slowly discovering what Josie's problem was and what was up with her, so I'm going to leave this review a bit on the vague side but I found The Big Finish immensely entertaining.

Duffy is a wise-cracking old curmudgeon but he has a bigger heart than he wants to admit. The friendships between Duffy and Carl, the residents and Josie, Anderson and Nora (both caregivers) and everyone are all wonderful. And, the ending is stirring and uplifting. A very entertaining, rollicking read about living life while you can. I did think the book started out a bit slowly but it's worth it to put up with the slower bits at the beginning. Eventually, as you get to know the characters and their dilemmas, it becomes more fun and there's even a little excitement at the end and a comedy of errors feel to what happens to Duffy throughout.

Many thanks to Berkley for the review copy!

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