by Carol Rifka Brunt (Pan MacMillan) ISBN: 9781447202134
Sibling rivalry, the taboo around AIDS in the eighties, and a teenager’s crush are central themes in Brunt’s first novel.
The famous painter Finn Weiss made a portrait of his nieces, June and Greta during the last few months before he died. June was very close to her uncle and is constantly clashing with her sister Greta. After the funeral, Finn’s partner, Toby writes June a note. He says that she is probably the only person who misses Finn as much as he does. Toby was denied contact with the family by June’s mother who kept her brother’s lover a secret. She accused Toby of being the cause of her brother’s death.
The note confuses June, but she feels Toby is the only one who understands her. She receives a message with a gift from Finn and sets about looking after Toby. Why has he been so caring of her? And what happens to the painting?
It is the loneliness of these two grief-stricken people that moved me. I enjoyed reading this book.