Brooke Fossey's newly released debut - The Big Finish - that caught my attention. It seemed to promise a fun read - a feisty oldster on the back of a bike being driven by a young woman. Lots of possibilities there....
Duffy and his roommate (and friend) Carl call the Centennial Assisted Living Facility home. They're more than a little surprised when a young woman crawls through their window and into their room.....and claims to be Carl's granddaughter. Josie comes with lots of baggage....and I'm not talking suitcases.
There seems to be enough of the 'seniors fighting back, seniors giving it one last kick, seniors robbing banks etc. books, that it has almost become a genre in my mind. And within that genre there always lives a curmudgeon with a heart of gold. Duffy is the curmudgeon in this case. I had expected it to be Carl as Josie is his relation. But Duffy sees something of himself in Josie and takes her on as 'one good thing he can do before....'
But of course, nothing ever goes as planned, does it? Fossey sets up a number of roadblocks that Duffy and his compatriots have to get past. The compatriots are a lovely mix of characters, helpful (and not), a love interest and of course an 'evil' administrator that is determined to move the existing residents along to another facility. Josie's baggage also includes a nasty boyfriend.
All the right pieces were there for a fun read, cheering for the underdogs. And I did. And a poignant last hurrah. And it was. But....yeah there's a but. I expected to like Duffy much more than I did. I just never fully connected or committed to him or his 'rescue'. Maybe because I wasn't overly drawn to Josie either. I felt Carl got the short stick in the whole deal. Who I did like was Anderson - the chef/orderly at the home. And there were some residents I enjoyed.
The plot line is a bit of a stretch and the ending is telegraphed long before the final pages. The Big Finish is an admirable debut and I would read Fossey's next book. But there are other books in this vein that have done it better. Fredrik Backman being my fave.
(And that cover? Not quite what's inside.)