Finn: A Novel
If you can imagine a modern-day retelling of Mark Twain's classic "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", featuring a teenage girl and a pregnant young Mexican woman as the main characters, then you've got the gist of Matthew Olshan's "Finn", a brilliant debut novel due out from Bancroft Press and Girls' Life Books in March 2001. Written primarily for young people, but nuanced enough to interest adult readers, "Finn" is both adventure story and social criticism. "Finn" is an unflinching portrait of modern America; but even more than that, it's a good, old-fashioned, picaresque tale. A fun, fast, and inspiring read, "Finn" aims to hold the attention of every reader, whatever her age.
The book's narrator is Chloe Wilder, a quiet, tough kid, a tomboy and survivor. Rescued from a murderous life with her mother, Chloc is living with her grandparents at the beginning of the story, in the cocoon of a quiet, middle-class neighborhood, attending a fancy private school. After unwittingly forcing Sylvia, her grandparents' live-in maid, from the house, Chloe is herself torn from her placid life. Together, Chloe and Sylvia take to the road, hoping to reach California before Sylvia's baby is born. As they face the wilderness of the streets, and Chloe learns about Sylvia's incredible past, a new friendship is forged, and old prejudices begin to fall away. Along the way, Chloe begins to face a personal demon: the long-buried, ungrieved death of her father.
While "Finn" is about the adventures of Sylvia and Chloe. it's equally about the social challenges of modern America, which, ironically, parallel those of Mark Twain's time: the corrosive power of racism; violence within the nuclear family; theyawning divide between rich and poor; and the hunger for equal justice. Author Matthew Olshan was educated at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Oxford Universities. He is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and producer, specializing in educational media. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and daughter. "Finn" is his first published novel.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dibiboi - LibraryThing
This is a story of a young protagonist that is helping an oppressed person escape desperate conditions and seek freedom. In the case of "Finn," the protagonist is a girl named Chloe and the escapee is ... Read full review
Review: FinnUser Review - LC - Goodreads
I'm reading this in English class. And I am lovin' it, man! Question: does anyone else feel a secret connection to Marian? Because I do!!! Huge vocab? Bookworm extraordinaire? Future therapist and ... Read full review