1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.
At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.
I don’t know what to say about this book.
You know how sometimes you think something but there’s no way you can put it into words? Either it’s way too embarrassing and you’d never, ever articulate it to another living soul. Ever. Or it’s just so natural, so ingrained in you that you’ve never felt the need to articulate it; It’s just how things are and, of course, everyone knows that. Why wouldn’t they? Well this book did that. I found myself reading things in this book that I know I’ve done but would never even think to put into words. Or that were so real that I don’t even know how Rifka Brunt got the words out onto paper. It’s like the author could just reach into a person’s soul and know exactly what’s going on in there without even trying.
It was amazing.
At first the book made me nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. It was labeled romance so I was expecting a typical romance. But I don’t think I would label it that at all. It’s all its own. It’s more a coming-of-age story than a romance, for sure. There’s no real romance in it.
The plot moved and twisted in ways I didn’t expect. The characters unraveled in a believable fashion and everything that happened was so normal. And yet it wasn’t. I could have been June. And yet I know I never could have been. The writing was just that good. Man, it was good! I already miss reading it.
There was very little language and no sex–actually, no real romancey-things at all–but there was a lot of smoking and teenage drinking.
Sexual Content: Mild