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The Big Finish: Book summary and reviews of The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey

The Big Finish

by Brooke Fossey

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey X
The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2020
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In a funny, insightful, and life-affirming debut, Brooke Fossey delivers an unflinching look at growing old, living large, and loving big, as told by a wise-cracking man who didn't see any of it coming.

Meet Duffy, an old curmudgeon who lives in an assisted living home.

Meet Josie, a desperate young woman who climbs through his window.

Together, they're going to learn it's never too late—or too early—to change your ways.

For Duffy Sinclair, life boils down to one simple thing: maintaining his residence at the idyllic Centennial Assisted Living. Without it, he's destined for the roach-infested nursing home down the road—and after wasting the first eighty-eight years of his life, he refuses to waste away for the rest. So, he keeps his shenanigans to the bare minimum with the help of his straight-laced best friend and roommate, Carl Upton.

But when Carl's granddaughter Josie climbs through their bedroom window with booze on her breath and a black eye, Duffy's faced with trouble that's sticking around and hard to hide—from Centennial's management and Josie's toxic boyfriend. Before he knows it, he's running a covert operation that includes hitchhiking and barhopping.

He might as well write himself a one-way ticket to the nursing home…or the morgue. Yet Duffy's all in. Because thanks to an unlikely friendship that becomes fast family—his life doesn't boil down the same anymore. Not when he finally has a chance to leave a legacy.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In Fossey's delightful debut, an elderly man finds a new lease on life after a surprise visit from his nursing home roommate's granddaughter. A completely logical yet somehow unexpected ending will leave readers smiling—and looking forward to Fossey's next effort." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fossey manages to depict the struggles of the elderly, whose concerns aren't often examined in fiction, in a way that's both respectful and entertaining. A moving, funny, and ultimately hopeful look at what makes life meaningful." - Kirkus Reviews

"Fans of Kathleen Rooney's Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Rachel Joyce's The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will appreciate this delightful romp. Fossey's debut is destined to become a book club favorite." - Library Journal

"Fossey's debut is a warm and deeply funny look at the lives of two seniors who learn it is never too late to grow old with style. Filled with rich, pitch-perfect dialogue, this is a sweet story of people finding meaning and creating family in the places they least expected." - Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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mary c

A great story with a Big Finish!!
Easy reading and a heartfelt story plot. It's worth hanging out with this crew.In a funny, insightful, and life-affirming debut, Brooke Fossey delivers an unflinching look at growing old, living large, and loving big, as told by a wise-cracking man who didn’t see any of it coming.

Ann B. (Kernville, CA)

The Big Finish deserves big kudos
Brooke Fossey had me at 9am Sit and Be Fit. I swear I've seen those exact activities on the board at my aunt's assisted living facility. I love that the novel is broken into bulletin board calendar days as well as numbered chapters. Time and its rate and manner of passing is a key thread in this novel, as it should be. Though Duffy is 88, his mind and internal dialog zip the narrative along. Stakes are high in the Centennial assisted living home, after all. I recommend this to readers who like a funny and character-driven story that demonstrates how its never too late to be the person you mean to be.

Mark S. (Blauvelt, NY)

The Big Finish Lives Up to Its Title
For a first work, Fossey has a knack for creating real characters that force readers to both accept them as real and root for them throughout the story. I enjoyed the relationships, the conflicts, and the way that Fossey created such a unique storyline in such an unexpected setting. I was also a big fan of the opportunity for redemption that Fossey created for more than just one of the principal characters. Probably the best indicator of how much I enjoyed this book was that I read it in less than 24 hours. As a high school teacher, I would definitely recommend it to book clubs and plan on passing it along to the teachers who run one in our English department.

Jan M. (Broken Arrow, OK)

Ending Well
As a fellow "Golden Ager" I could relate to the characters in this book and their thought processes. Just because we're old, doesn't mean we can't experience deep feelings of friendship, love, loss and everything in between. Carl and Duffy were good friends living a somewhat predictable life in a retirement home. Along came Carl's granddaughter, Josie, and all of a sudden their world became much more interesting. The next week was filled with many experiences and emotions as these two old friends broke all the rules to give Josie some protection and a chance to know her grandfather. The writer did a terrific job of developing her story and helping the reader to know her characters. Although the story was fiction, the characters were very real and perhaps resembled many of our friends. I really enjoyed the book and will be recommending it to my book club friends.

Sandi W. (East Moline, IL)

Laugh out loud funny...
What a funny, funny book. Has been some time since I have laughed out loud at a book. But this one did it.

A local nursing home, an old curmudgeon and his roommates granddaughter. These make for a cute, funny and heartfelt story. As Duffy and Josie come to an understanding, Duffy's room mate Carl and the rest of the group from the nursing home rally around to see to it that Josie has the best of care.

Easy reading, good character development and a heartfelt story plot, with a lot of witticism from the lovable curmudgeon, Duffy. Light, entertaining, enjoyable book. Worth the read.

Windell H. (Rock Hill, SC)

"The Big Finish" Review
Wow! What a great read. Who knew that assisted living could produce some real life drama. Encouraging for me being 71. Duffy has been through the 12 steps and is ready to tackle life on life's terms. All the people around Josie have a common goal. This book brings out how adversity can lead to good things. Great story because of well developed characters. 5 Stars. I read this in 2 sittings!

...43 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Brooke Fossey

Brooke Fossey was once an aerospace engineer with a secret clearance before she traded it all in for motherhood and writing. She's a past president and an honorary lifetime member of DFW Writers Workshop. Her work can be found in numerous publications, including Ruminate Magazine and SmokeLong Quarterly. When she's not writing, you can find her in Dallas, Texas with her husband, four kids, and their dog Rufus. She still occasionally does math.

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