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71 pages 2 hours read

Jennifer Niven

All The Bright Places

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Chapters 21-29Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 21 Summary: “Finch”

Finch and his sisters, Kate and Decca, arrive at their father’s house for dinner, and the young man immediately intuits that something is amiss. When their stepmother, Rosemarie, advises them that their father is in the basement, Finch knows that the older man is in a dark, abusive frame of mind. He ventures down the stairs to find him. When his father declines to come upstairs for dinner, Finch reminds him that “[w]e’re here […] and we didn’t come all this way to hang out with your new wife and child” (159). Finch is currently trying on the persona of “Badass Finch,” who is unafraid of his abusive parent. In response, his father slams Finch’s head into the wall. Finch thanks the older man for the fact that his “skull is pretty tough now” (160).

Minutes later, the elder Finch appears for dinner in a cheerful state. On the way home, Kate reprimands her brother, noting that their father might have hospitalized him. Upon arriving home, Finch surprises his mother by kissing her cheek, which is an unusual display of affection in this family. He tries to calm himself by driving the family car, “Little Bastard,” in an attempt to overcome the flood of bad memories involving his father’s abuse of his mother and.

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