It's been a long time since I participated in Patti Abbotts great weekly blog feature -- Forgotten Book Friday, but I recently read a novel that fits the bill.
Bride & Finn by Harry Cauley was published in 1994. Set in the early 40's during World War II it is very much a character driven novel. Exactly the kind of book I love.
Told from the POV of a young boy, it is very much the tale of a relationship. Finn hates Bridie when she shows up in in fourth grade class, but everyone else falls in immediate love with her. The rest of the novel is all about their relationship over the next decade. They must deal with the realities of war, racism and of course the discovery of sex.
I enjoyed the authors ability to take me inside Finn's head and to slowly reveal the other's character traits in subtle ways, but the writer in me was awed by the ending. Some might find the ending abrupt and not completely satisfying but myself I enjoyed the reality of it. I've always been bothered by the tidiness of endings when in reality life and it's problems rarely comes with a neat little bow ties on top. This novel reads and feels very much like a tale that a personal friend might tell you. It is the kind of story that stay with you and if it were possible I'd feel obligated to give the narrator advice once it was over.