The Catch by Alison Fairbrother
- Buy the book here
- Page Count: 288
- Genre: Literary Fiction
Alison Fairbrother’s The Catch follows a young woman through the early days of grieving the sudden loss of her father. When a young DC journalist’s father suddenly passes, she returns to his home for the funeral and will reading with the expectation that his most prized possession—a baseball from the woman’s childhood that is the basis for the late father’s most successful poem—will be left to her in the will. But when the will is read and the baseball is left to a complete estranger, the woman begins a journey of grief and questioning her relationship with her father.
This novel moved me for several reasons. The complexity of the characters creates a deeply emotional picture of life in grief. Readers get to see multiple dimensions to every character in the story, especially the main character and her late father. The main character’s decisions are hard to swallow at multiple points in the story, but she shapes up to be a flawed person that feels very real. Through following the main character’s day-to-day life and learning new information about her father, the idea that people are neither unanimously “good” nor “bad” comes to the forefront of the story. Each person in this story has rich feelings, expressions, and love, but they also have flaws and occasionally cause harm to others, either directly or indirectly.
I also was drawn in by the setting and situation. The story is heavily grounded in the Washington DC. For those who have visited or lived in the city, Fairbrother’s assessments, adorations, and descriptions of DC life will be a treat. It’s also a story that I think a lot of young/emerging adult audiences will enjoy, seeing as the main character is just starting out life at her first “real” journalism job and moving on from college life into workforce life.
At the heart of The Catch is a story of grief and love. Grief can sneak into many moments in life and lead people on unexpected journeys. As the narrator must contend with an unorthodox item left in the will, she’s also trying to push forth and be persistent in her professional life. Fairbrother shows how the personal and the professional can intertwine and the complications that can bring.