What a beautiful book. Long after I finished reading it, I’m still thinking about June and Toby and Finn and Greta, picturing that secret room down the basement and that secret place in the woods with the maple tree. Definitely another book to add to my favourite reads this year.
It’s a coming of age tale. June is fourteen and does not have a lot of friends. She used to be close to her older sister Greta, but she has her own set of friends now being the popular girl that she is. June’s only friend, her best friend, is her uncle Finn.
Talented, sophisticated, kind, beautiful Finn.
June thinks he is the most incredible and most special person in the planet. So when she tragically loses Finn to AIDS, she reels from the devastating loss and gravitates towards Toby, her late uncle’s boyfriend she had no idea existed. She forges an unlikely friendship with Toby, despite the sadness and the heartbreak, despite the baffling questions and even more baffling answers, despite her family’s declaration that it was Toby who gave AIDS to Finn.
Incredible storytelling, beautiful prose, real and honest emotions, hauntingly melancholic and bittersweet. It, too, will break your heart.