A coming of age story dealing with loss, grief, friendship, and so much more. It's 1987 and June is 14 years old. She is lonely and awkward and shy, especially as she stands in the shadow of her older sister who seems to have every gift in the world. June is lucky in that she has her godfather, her uncle Finn, who is warm, caring, and allows her to be herself. They go on trips to the city and he takes her to operas and art museums and he is the world to June but now he is dying of some mysterious illness and June has no idea how she will deal with her grief or her life without him.
Then there is a mysterious man at the funeral and a few days later a package shows up with Finn's beautiful teapot and a note from Toby asking to meet her. Toby who was Finn's special "friend" that she knew nothing about but who cared for Finn deeply as well. Toby is nothing like Finn but June senses a kinship with this man who shared much of Finn's life and is also grieving. Together, maybe they can find a way out of their grief through an unexpected friendship.
This book was so lovely in its heartbreaking way. We start knowing quickly that Finn is going to die and so many of us have been there that it's not hard to put yourself in those shoes. I was 15 years old when my grandmother died and I thought my entire world had just about ended. My family was supportive but it was different than this and I wish I had someone who really got what she had meant to me, like Toby and June do for each other. Maybe this book spoke to me so much because I can easily see so much of myself in June too. Simply told but powerfully felt.
Page count: 360p/4,213p ytd/254,490 lifetime