Truth in Advertising by John Kenney (Touchstone, January 2013)
Finbar Dolan looks to have it all: he has left his blue-collared life in Boston behind, landed a job with a Madison Avenue ad agency and has a big account with a diaper company. As he approaches 40, he realizes his life is a mess: he is all but estranged from his large Irish family, he recently called off his wedding, he really doesn’t love his job and can’t get himself to take a vacation, and he doesn't want the stress over Christmas of creating, producing and editing a multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial. A call from his older brother Ed telling Fin their father, an abusive man who left their family when Fin was a young teenager, is dying and neither Ed, nor Fin’s sister or other brother, plan on visiting him. Not sure why, Fin finds himself heading to New England to see his father one last time, and in doing so, finds the time and peace of mind to reevaluate where his life is, where he has been and where it is going and where he would want it to be going (with co-worker Phoebe if he’s honest with himself). Fin is a character to empathize with, at times be angry at, but cheer for the entire way. Told with a certain amount of self-deprecating humor and honesty, Truth in Advertising introduces a new, welcomed voice in fiction.