cover image Closer to Fine

Closer to Fine

Meri Weiss, . . Kensington, $14 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-2690-7

The opening 20 pages of this debut griefer show New Yorker Alexandra Justice, then 24, bonding with her brother Ashley—34 and dying of AIDS in his Upper West Side apartment—after years of being only in vague touch. The remainder of the novel takes place four years later with flashbacks to Alex’s childhood, college years and recovery from her brother’s death. She inherited a million dollars from Ashley, a successful documentarian, so when she gets fired from her director’s assistant job while caring for him, she has the freedom to grieve in her own way in the aftermath. She meets Tucker, a dilettante painter and billionaire’s son; dances ’til dawn and takes road trips with her gay friend Jax and her best friend Jordy; visits her uncle diagnosed with cancer; and ultimately understands how to play the cards she was dealt. Anyone who has endured the pain of a dying loved one will recognize the feelings behind this often melancholy dirge and Alex’s slow, painful finding of her way. (July)