John Kenney’s debut novel, Truth in Advertising (2013), tells the story of Finbar Dolan. Born and raised in Boston, abandoned by his father and mother, he and his siblings have dispersed. Now he lives and works in New York City, a senior copywriter telling stories that aren’t real, and looking for something that is.
Fin is in the middle of a crisis. Months earlier he called off an engagement that was uninspiring. Now he is buried at work over the holidays, and his brother has called to let him know that their long-estranged, abusive father is in the hospital following a heart attack. Fin’s siblings have no intention of visiting, but Fin decides it is time for him to face his past.
He also must own up to the fact that he is falling in love with a coworker, before he misses another chance at happiness. This funny, honest, and moving story tells it like it is, and shows us how to make it better. I am going to read it this week.