by Meri Weiss

July 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7582-2690-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Kensington Publishing
Trade Paperback

Hope, depression, family, disappointment, friendship, love, self acceptance, forgiveness, birth, and death – all parts of the great, big puzzle called life. In her novel, Closer to Fine, Meri Weiss explores one woman’s quest to make sense of her own puzzle after the death of her brother.

You never realize how much someone means until you realize he’s leaving. That fact hits Alexandra hard when she watches her brother, Ashley, die. What she should have said and what she should have done, none of that matters now because it’s too late. Still, Alexandra can’t help hating herself, and her inability to make the puzzle pieces fit sends her down a bleak path. Her only way out involves taking an honest and in-depth look at the parts of the puzzle that she already has. Can she do it or will she forever see her life through blurry lenses?

Closer to Fine is not an easy read, but then when the subjects are living and dying, sharing heartache and love, the book shouldn’t be light and airy. Meri Weiss forces you to think about who you are and your perceived successes and your regrets. How do you bounce back from tragedy? Are you a fair weather friend? Are you a giver or a taker?

Even with all its deep insight into humanity, Closer to Fine is still a work of fiction, but the characters are so real, so likeable and annoying at the same time, that you’ll want to either delete them or add them to your Blackberry. Despite a storyline that sort of magically wraps up and leaves a few unanswered questions, Close to Fine is a good read, simply because the wonderful characters make this novel one that is worthy of your time.

Reviewed in October 2008 by Natasha.

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