Finny by Justin Kramon

“Then she remembered the feather–the blue and silver one she’d nabbed from beside the bird pond. She took it out of her pocket. “Here,” she said, and handed it to Earl. “I found it while I was walking. Have a good evening.”

Earl looked at it, then put it in his pocket. “Thanks,” he said. “I’ll treasure it always.” (p. 18)

I wish I had a blue and silver feather to lay atop of the cover, for that is what Finny gives Earl on the day she meets him.

But, perhaps the white feather is also indicative of Finny. At least in my mind. It shows us her freshness, her youth, her trust, her difference from all the ordinary feathers drifting around us.

We meet Finny when she is a child, a bold and audacious child, who bravely says things I always longed to say but didn’t for fear of suffering the ensuing disapproval. Within the first twenty pages, we meet Earl, too. And this is the story of Finny, but also of Earl; of her brother, and their parents, each portrayed as real as if we could talk to them during a dinner party in our own living rooms.

I could share a cup of coffee with Earl’s father, Mr. Henckel, and be just as patient as those who love him are when he suddenly falls asleep. “It just comes upon me,” he says, and that is the only explanation we receive for a trait both bizarre and endearing.

I could play Jenga with Poplan, one of the few women who can truly be a mother to Finny.

I could cherish the relationship, the phone calls and the drinks, with my brother as Finny does with hers.

The only person I could do without, the kind of person so many of us suffer with and still call friend, is Judith. Judith, with her beauty and her needs, her manipulations and dares, her desire to live on the edge and then wonder why her life is a train wreck, is the only one I’d willingly leave within these pages.

But, life isn’t smooth any more than it is perfect. Finny’s unpretentiousness, her courage, her selflessness, are all the things that I loved about her. They are the very things that save her from the sorrow which envelopes nearly everyone else in her life.

(Please visit Justin Kramon’s site for more information about this wonderful author and novel.)