The Story of Tom Brennan

by

J. C. Burke

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Aunty Kath Character Analysis

Aunty Kath is Fin's mother and Mum and Brendan's sister. Because her husband died about fifteen years ago, she's mostly on her own in taking care of Fin in the aftermath of the accident. Tom describes her as an exceptional cook, especially when it comes to birthday cakes: she always made Fin amazing cakes, which he believes she did because Fin's birthday was always overshadowed by Daniel’s. This implies that Kath was aware of the dynamic between Fin and Daniel and attempted in small ways to fix it. In the present, Kath has become extremely strong and muscular from needing to lift and turn Fin. She spends most of her time with him at the hospital, caring for his every need. During a brief visit to Gran's house, she loses her composure when she discovers that Mum is spending all her time in bed and is neglecting Tom and Kylie, to whom Kath is especially close. Her explosive anger is enough to encourage Mum to get out of bed more often and begin to recover. Kath does what she can to make things as normal as possible for Fin. She arranges a birthday party for him in his rehab facility and purchases a flat near the hospital and rehab center so that Fin will be able to move home. Despite everyone's relief that Fin will be able to do so, Kath is vocal about the fact that Fin is afraid. Dad implies that Kath is also afraid and overwhelmed by the task of needing to care for her adult son. She never sees Daniel in jail for the duration of the novel, but she and Fin do express interest in doing that at some point.

Aunty Kath Quotes in The Story of Tom Brennan

The The Story of Tom Brennan quotes below are all either spoken by Aunty Kath or refer to Aunty Kath. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Story of Tom Brennan published in 2005.
Chapter Eleven Quotes

I mean, it was bad—it was all bad—but even after the worst visits, there was still hope when you left him, some hope in the realization that one day Daniel'd be getting out of there, a free man.

But Fin would never be free, and that was too enormous to swallow.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Aunty Kath
Page Number: 150
Explanation and Analysis:

Us Brennans had a lot to ask for and not much reason to give thanks. But I was thankful. Mum was up.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Mum, Gran, Aunty Kath
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:
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Aunty Kath Character Timeline in The Story of Tom Brennan

The timeline below shows where the character Aunty Kath appears in The Story of Tom Brennan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Four
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...remembers one Christmas that Brendan brought a girl for lunch and overhearing Mum and Aunty Kath giggling about whether Gran prays to a patron saint of gay sons. (full context)
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...of time together. He notices a photo on Brendan's desk of Mum, Brendan, and Aunty Kath fishing as kids. He then notices another frame turned over; it holds a photo of... (full context)
Friendship and Teamwork Theme Icon
Identity and Independence Theme Icon
...Coghill. He realizes the phone is ringing but lets it go to voicemail. It's Aunty Kath, updating Brendan on Fin and asking about the plan for the weekend. This makes Tom... (full context)
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...the next day. She suggests that Tom go with Brendan to see Fin and Aunty Kath, and then mentions that Fin will move to a rehab facility soon. She says that... (full context)
Chapter Five
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Brendan and Aunty Kath walk into Fin's room. Aunty Kath's big sunglasses can't hide that she's been crying. As... (full context)
Chapter Seven
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Early on Monday morning, Brendan left to be with Aunty Kath and Fin. Tom and Kylie didn't go to school, and Daniel's solicitor, Dennis Talbot, came... (full context)
Chapter Nine
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...waiting to happen, said that no sentence will be long enough, and sent regards to Kath and Fin. (full context)
Chapter Ten
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Friendship and Teamwork Theme Icon
Identity and Independence Theme Icon
...things could be worse—Tom could be Fin. Tom starts to fire back, but notices Aunty Kath outside the screen door. Kylie runs to Kath, hugs her, and starts to cry. Tom... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
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Tom had no idea that Aunty Kath was coming during Fin's move to rehab, so he feels caught off guard. Kath sends... (full context)
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A bit later, Kylie returns from her shower and Aunty Kath promises to make another strudel before Kylie's science class. Tom explains to the reader that... (full context)
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When Tom gets home from school, Aunty Kath is still in the kitchen. Pots bubble on the stove and she's busy scrubbing the... (full context)
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...room. Mum is curled into a ball on the bed. Brendan sits with her, Aunty Kath paces, and Gran and Kylie stand against the wall. Kath and Gran explain that Daniel... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
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...had been hoping that Fin would drop the idea of a birthday party, but Aunty Kath organizes a barbeque for everyone on Saturday. The night before, Tom goes out to see... (full context)
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...Fin was. He tries not to cry when he sees Fin in the wheelchair. Aunty Kath makes a wonderful cake and Mum even tries to look nice. Tom can feel the... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
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Friendship and Teamwork Theme Icon
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...Daniel shouldn't get his way. She says that the day before the accident, when Aunty Kath was out, she suggested Fin invite Claire over and said she'd keep watch. Fin and... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
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...rehab center, Tom's entire family plans to spend the school holidays in Aralen helping Aunty Kath move. Tom loudly complains about it at dinner one night, but Dad tells Tom very... (full context)
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Tom walks around Aunty Kath's living room in her new flat, looking at all the contraptions she installed so Fin... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
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...discuss whether Fin will actually go see Daniel, and Brendan suggests that Fin and Aunty Kath are still too preoccupied with simply figuring out how to care for Fin to think... (full context)