Justin Kramon’s debut novel, Finny, is a sweeping, enchanting voyage, an insightful story about a young woman’s complicated path to adulthood.
We meet Finny Short as an observant, defiant fourteen-year-old who can’t make sense of her family’s unusual habits: Her mother offers guidance appropriate for a forty-year-old socialite; her father quotes Nietzsche over pancakes. Finny figures she’s stuck with this lonely lot until she meets Earl Henckel, a boy who comes from an even stranger place than she does. Unhappy with Finny’s budding romance with Earl, her parents ship her off to Thorndon boarding school. But mischief follows Finny as she befriends New York heiress Judith Turngate, a girl whose charm belies a disquieting reckless streak.
Finny’s relationships with Earl and Judith open her up to dizzying possibilities of love and loss and propel her into a remarkable adventure spanning twenty years and two continents. Justin Kramon has given us a wickedly funny odyssey with a moving and original love story at its core. Finny introduces us to an unforgettable heroine, a charmingly intricate world, and an uncommonly entertaining and gifted young novelist.
I loved this book so much that I just worry that my review will not do it any justice. Justin Kramon did such a wonderful job of showing us the life of young Finny and what I appreciated the most is that it wasn't a perfect life. Finny had a pretty good life even though she made mistakes along the way, but I've always been a firm believer in how our mistakes can make us into stronger individuals. I could definitely see the strength in Finny's character within this book.
Finny is introduced to us as a young girl that is full of spunk and ready to conquer the world. She really didn't appreciate the family she had at that age, let's face it, how many of us really do, so when she ran into Earl one day she found herself opening up to both him and his single father. She loved visiting with the Henckel family, watching their little quirks and oddities and listening to Mr. Henckel play the most beautiful piano music she had ever heard. Little did she know that she was setting a foundation for a lifetime relationship with Earl that would be the most important and the most difficult that she would ever have.
Early on in their lives, Earl and Finny are separated by circumstances. Finny is sent to boarding school at one point and then Earl moves to France to live with his mom. One would think this relationship is doomed but they really tried to make things work by visiting each other, telephone calls and letters. As they both have errors in judgement with their relationships as they find themselves growing into adults and making mistakes that may not be forgiven.
I felt that a window was created for me to watch the various stages of Finny's life. After high school and college she struggled with her career choices and relationships. Not only her relationship with men, but also the women that she has befriended throughout her life, from boarding school through her college years. The friendships were not perfect either, which made the element of truth just that much more real to me.
The writing in this novel flowed so beautifully for me that I can tell you I didn't want to put it down at night. The emotions that it evoked within me were amazing also-one night I was in stitches laughing, while the next evening I was in tears. It was a book that saddened me as I was turning the last page because I really did not want to say goodbye to Finny and I still feel a bit of an emptiness now as I am writing this review. With themes of love, endurance, family, and true friendship this book really has something in it for everyone. I am thrilled that this is Justin Kramon's first novel because now I can't wait for what may come next. If you are interested in finding out more about this author you can visit his website here. If you can't tell, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
My Rating: 5/5
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Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Trish from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review and to participate in this blog tour.