I thought how many small good things in the world might be resting on the shoulders of something terrible.Carol Rifka Brunt
These are trying times we are living in. There is the virus, then there is the news and over and above is the fake news. Rumors of all sorts ranging from home made medicines to how all the virus can spread etc have been spreading like wildfire. And in such a time, I stumbled upon this book by Carol Rifka Brunt. The book that deals with a gay relationship of two men who caught AIDS, a book about presumptions of a disease and it’s patients when not much is known about them, and above all a book about things we do for love. Love between two adults, between a parent and a child, between sisters and love that roots after taking care of a dying man.
The premise of the book is of 1987 and revolves around a fifteen year old girl named Junie, her dying uncle Finn whom she secretly loves and admires like a woman may love another man. The plot is of a time when not much was known about AIDS, a disease of which Finn is dying. There are random news and popular beliefs about the virus. After the death of Finn, Junie secretly develops friendship with Toby, Finn’s boyfriend, as he remains the connection between herself and Finn. Her elder sister Greta seems to be a mean person, who haunts Junie with her insensitive remarks. The book ends with a reconciliation between lost souls.
Frankly speaking, the story does not have a lot of twist and turns. Only six important characters weave the story. But what is the backbone of the book is the character building of each person. Why each character behaves the way it does has been articulated terrifically. And it might just be possible for a reader to relate with the emotions of one or the other person described in the book. Humans are naturally not rude or mean towards other humans particularly within a family. But sometimes the relations simply shatter into pieces and we may say things to our loved ones which we do not mean. What is important there is to understand the reasons that forced a person to resort to such harsh words and acts. If that is understood, a lot can be fixed. And Carol Rifka Brunt has mastered in describing these complex emotions and confessions through a fifteen year old very smoothly.