Zee Finch is a practicing psychotherapist in Boston. She works within a very respected office and her boss is world famous. She’s engaged to one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors, Michael. She has a good life and an excellent map of how her life should go. Zee’s life starts to unravel after one of her patients, Lilly Braedon jumps from a bridge killing herself.
Zee’s mother committed suicide when Zee was a child. Lilly’s death brings back many feelings that Zee thought she had left behind. After attending Lilly’s funeral, Zee stops to see her father.
It’s at that point; her life really starts to fall apart. Her father, Finch has Parkinson’s disease. His long time companion and lover, Melville has been there for years but now he’s moved out. Though Finch has a home health aide that comes in for several hours each day, it is obvious that he needs more help than that.
Melville wants to return home and care for Finch but Finch wants him out. Zee’s not sure what to do. She has a wedding to plan, a job to do and an obligation to her father. No matter what, the direction that her life was taking has changed.
This book basically covers one year in the life of Zee Finch. In that year, she faces many changes and has to look within herself for answers she’s not sure she wants to know.
The characters in this story are extremely well done. They are complex and interesting. Zee is the most developed as the main character. She reflects about where her life has been and the uncertainty of where it’s going. She acts, reacts and struggles. Melville has similar problems. He wants to do what is best for everyone. However, all of the characters, regardless of their role, come across as real.
Many of the issues brought up in this story are ones most of us don’t want to deal with. Lilly is depressed but she also has an abusive boyfriend she’s hiding from her husband and family. Zee’s mother was similar to Lilly in that she was bi-polar. The stresses of taking care of ill, aging parents are well documented. Yet, each of these issues and more are dealt with care, concern and education.
Love in its many forms is seen throughout this story. Zee has the love and respect in her friendship with her boss. She also has parental love from Melville and a somewhat more rocky love with Finch. Michael loves Zee but Zee isn’t sure if that’s enough. That may be why she can’t stop thinking about Hawk, a sailor on a tall ship. Love is even seen as Zee’s boss gets married and her uncle, finally, gets a date with the woman he’s been after for years!
This story is very much a gripping drama keeping you interested from the beginning and anticipating the end. There are frequent shifts, bringing twists and turns in the plot that are unexpected but exceptional. Zee’s story doesn’t end with the end of this book though, but she has a new beginning to explore and maybe we’ll get to see how it unfolds.