My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My writing doesn’t tend to have a lot of “plot.” I always find my stories to be much more character driven, with dialogue and thoughts progressing everything much more than outside occurrences.
This is how I feel this book is driven. It’s from the perspective of a young girl named June. The premise is simple: June’s beloved uncle, Finn, has died and we watch as June copes with this tragedy.
It sounds like it’s going to be simple but it’s not. Not even close. June has a lot going on in her life – dealing with Finn’s death just being one of them. Her relationship with her sister, her parents, her uncle’s boyfriend, and most, importantly, herself make this story a whirlwind. Just when you think she’s coming to grip with one area some other character will knock it all to pieces.
Perhaps the part that I found the most fascinating was the way the characters understood and reacted to AIDS. I’m from a generation where I grew up without a lot of those initial misconceptions of the disease. I’ve never thought I could get AIDS from someone just by touching them or kissing them. I’ve never thought of it as only a “gay” disease. This book takes place in a time when AIDS was just beginning to be known. I think it does such an incredible job of understanding the hurt and devastation that misunderstanding AIDS and homosexuality caused on so many lives.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. At times it was hard to read and I also felt it to be a bit long for the events. Still, it’s a book that will stay with me in a very good way.