The Story of Tom Brennan

by

J. C. Burke

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Fin Character Analysis

Tom and Daniel's cousin, Fin is permanently paralyzed in the accident. Though Fin is only a week younger than Daniel, the latter overshadowed Fin in everything they did until weeks before the crash. In the weeks before the accident, tensions between Daniel and Fin reached a fever pitch: with Daniel spending so much time drinking, Fin's ability on the rugby field could finally take the limelight. He was also growing up and becoming handsomer and more mature. In addition, he had a crush on Daniel’s girlfriend Claire, which made Daniel extremely jealous—especially when it became clear that Claire preferred Fin. On the night of the accident, Fin and Daniel fought over Claire. Yet because Fin is someone who has always felt a great deal of responsibility to care for others, he stayed with Daniel at the party. Daniel later insisted on driving home and crashed his car, paralyzing Fin's arms and legs. Tom notes that Fin had been a reserved and cautions person; trusting Daniel that night was the only risk Fin ever took. During Tom's few visits with Fin in the hospital and in rehab, he can tell that Fin is extremely angry about what happened, even if he doesn't say so outright. Tom notes that while Fin was initially dedicated to recovering, he slowly became more downtrodden. Aunty Kath, Fin's mother, is vocal about telling Tom's family that Fin is terrified of what his life will be like as a quadriplegic. He remains in contact with Claire and with other people in Mumbilli, a fact that he occasionally deploys to make the Brennan family feel bad. Near the end of the novel, Fin admits that he doesn't actually hate Daniel and would actually like to visit him at some point. He and Aunty Kath don't return to Mumbilli; they move into a flat with a view of the ocean where Fin has hospitals and other facilities nearby.

Fin Quotes in The Story of Tom Brennan

The The Story of Tom Brennan quotes below are all either spoken by Fin or refer to Fin. 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 Four Quotes

Suddenly I was sucked deeper into that long black tunnel, the memories of Fin and Daniel and how we once were, and the worst thing, the knowing. Knowing more than anything I'd ever know that things would never be the same.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Six Quotes

Somewhere in the bush, hard to say how far away, I could hear the painful sound of groaning, retching sobs. It was Daniel but I couldn't go to him. Part of me wanted to, the other part didn't. I knew I had to stay with Fin, stay with the mess Daniel had made. Yet a voice inside of me was screaming, "He's alive, he's alive. Daniel's alive."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Matt, Luke, Nicole, Snorter
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Seven Quotes

Wasn't his life worth more? But that's exactly why he was here, because a life was worth something, and Daniel took two away. Whichever way I turned, my questions only found another one, always worse than the last.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Luke, Nicole
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
Chapter Sixteen Quotes

"We were fighting all the time. The new young players were shit-scared. If you had a bad game you were dead meat. It wasn't about us, it was all about the Wattle Shield. We stopped looking out for each other."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin, Kylie Brennan
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

"They couldn't control Dan. They were scared of him. Well, scared of the consequences if they tried to pull him into line [...] Maybe Daniel was always going to do something like this. Maybe he had to fall this far."

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Dad, Fin, Mum, Kylie Brennan, Claire
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter Eighteen Quotes

We were. The three of us, like brothers.

Now it was hard to believe that. Blood's thicker than water, so what's the difference between your brother and your cousin? I didn't know. I'd never know.

Related Characters: Tom Brennan (speaker), Daniel Brennan, Fin
Page Number: 261
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Story of Tom Brennan LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Story of Tom Brennan PDF

Fin Character Timeline in The Story of Tom Brennan

The timeline below shows where the character Fin appears in The Story of Tom Brennan. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter One
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...at his parents' place. They'd have a barbeque and Tom, Daniel, Kylie, and their cousin Fin would start a game of cricket while Dad grilled. In the afternoon, Matt, Snorter, Luke,... (full context)
Chapter Two
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...Dad gave a surprisingly calm pep talk. He gave special instructions to Luke, Daniel, and Fin. St. John's won narrowly thanks to Fin. They were somewhat surprised to win, as they... (full context)
Chapter Three
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...girls, which made him extremely possessive. This was the case in particular with their cousin Fin. Tom wonders if Daniel was so awful because he could see that Claire also liked... (full context)
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Tom watched Fin walk into the hall and Claire said that when Daniel doesn't get his way, he... (full context)
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...did this to himself by treating Claire horribly. Daniel slammed Tom against a pole as Fin and Luke tried to talk Daniel down. When Daniel finally let Tom go, Tom walked... (full context)
Chapter Four
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...betting on racehorses. Tom thinks that Pa only took Daniel to the races, even though Fin was the one who truly loved horses. Thinking about it and the fact that things... (full context)
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...Day, but he understands why the Brennans left. He asks Tom to say hi to Fin for him and mentions that Mumbilli is teeming with rumors. (full context)
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...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 think of Fin. He... (full context)
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The last time that Tom saw Fin, the hospital air conditioning was broken. Fin lay in bed with no sheet over him,... (full context)
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...and see Daniel 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.... (full context)
Chapter Five
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On Saturday, Mum and Dad drive to see Daniel while Brendan and Tom visit Fin. As Tom and Brendan head out of Coghill, Brendan stops at Jonny's house and asks... (full context)
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...and died one winter of pneumonia. Tom understands that the sheepskin items are to keep Fin warm during his first winter. Brendan sighs and explains that Jonny's mother is as religious... (full context)
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Tom walks into the hospital and greets Fin, stopping himself from slapping Fin's hand like he used to. He tells Fin that he's... (full context)
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Fin curls his lip and asks about Tom being a "Coghill boy" now, but then apologizes... (full context)
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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 she hugs Tom,... (full context)
Chapter Six
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...the ocean so they begin the long drive home. Brendan asks Tom's opinion on how Fin is. Tom mentions that Fin is starting to remember things from before, but privately, Tom... (full context)
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...Luke and Nicole were dead. Tom and Matt returned to searching the car and found Fin, fortunately in a place where he couldn't see Luke and Nicole. Tom crouched down next... (full context)
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It took until morning for the paramedics to cut Fin out of the car. Tom sat with him the entire time, thankful that Fin didn't... (full context)
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...the price of lamb is a welcome distraction from everyone else's gloom. Brendan insists that Fin is doing well, but Tom knows that Brendan just doesn't want to upset Dad. He... (full context)
Chapter Seven
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...sentenced Daniel. Dad had cried too. Matt mentions that Mumbilli is holding another fundraiser for Fin, and he says that the paper ran an article last week that said the Brennans... (full context)
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...to the police station. Kylie and Tom sat at home, and Tom could still smell Fin's blood. Matt came over for a while after giving his statement to the police. Tom... (full context)
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...closed his eyes that night, he could only see Luke, Nicole, and the terror in Fin's eyes. Fin was in critical condition, though Dad didn't tell Tom at the time that... (full context)
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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 to visit... (full context)
Chapter Nine
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...happen, said that no sentence will be long enough, and sent regards to Kath and Fin. (full context)
Chapter Ten
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...so secretive about repeating Year Eleven. She insists that things could be worse—Tom could be Fin. Tom starts to fire back, but notices Aunty Kath outside the screen door. Kylie runs... (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 Kylie to shower and... (full context)
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...Kath is an amazing cook, especially when it comes to cakes. She used to make Fin impressive birthday cakes, which he reasons she did because Fin's birthday was always overshadowed by... (full context)
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...frantically insists that Daniel can't be caught off guard in jail, and Kath retorts that Fin can't even move. Kath shouts at Brendan and Dad for letting Mum lie in bed... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
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...already know about what happened. Tom asks why Chrissy then thought the wool stuff for Fin was for a grandfather, and Brendan says that Tom was clearly not ready then for... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
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Tom had been hoping that Fin would drop the idea of a birthday party, but Aunty Kath organizes a barbeque for... (full context)
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...her. He forgives her, and they laugh for a few minutes before then talking about Fin's party. Tom says, almost to himself, that they couldn't have stayed in Mumbilli. Kylie agrees... (full context)
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At the rehab center, Tom recognizes a lot of guys from the hospital where Fin was. He tries not to cry when he sees Fin in the wheelchair. Aunty Kath... (full context)
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Fin asks if Tom saw the stacks of birthday cards he got from people in Mumbilli.... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
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...doing well. He lists all the people he's hurt and says that the thought of Fin's birthday set him off. He can't stand the thought of Fin in a wheelchair, but... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
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...the same as it was the first few days after the accident: terrified and lost. Finally, she gulps that she has a secret about Fin and Claire. Tom insists that everyone... (full context)
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Kylie asks Tom if he remembers the fight that Fin and Daniel had the week before the sudden death match. It started because Fin talked... (full context)
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Kylie continues that when Fin told her about the fight with Daniel, she reminded him of the Year Nine dance... (full context)
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...recently realized that St. John's was basically playing with twelve players instead of fifteen, and Fin was doing most of the work. The young players were scared, nobody was having fun,... (full context)
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...everyone is, and says he always used to call Gran's place "Saint Margalette the Butcher's." Finally, Tom says that his family members are either visiting Fin or Daniel. They discuss Kylie's... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
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...which Brendan says that Daniel used to swing. Brendan explains that he brought Daniel and Fin here when they were about thirteen, and Daniel treated it like an initiation ceremony. Brendan... (full context)
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...into the Wattle Shield was a fluke last year and it was only because of Fin that they did. (full context)
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Tom says that Fin never talks to him about what his life is like now, but he doesn't like... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
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Because Fin is almost ready to leave the rehab center, Tom's entire family plans to spend the... (full context)
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Chrissy agrees with Dad that Tom has to go see Fin. She encourages Tom to actually try to talk to Fin, citing Tom's phone call to... (full context)
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...Kath's living room in her new flat, looking at all the contraptions she installed so Fin can shower and eat. He hears her telling Kylie and Dad that it's like having... (full context)
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One clear day, Tom goes to the rehab center and takes Fin for a walk. They laugh that Fin's wheelchair reminds them of the soapbox races they... (full context)
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Fin says it's too late now for that and says that soon, maybe, he's going to... (full context)
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...stays behind and one night, she calls to say that she's going to stay longer: Fin is having a hard time and she wants to make sure he's settled. Tom overhears... (full context)
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...Tom says he's thinking about how ghostly the trees looked that night and says that Fin recently thanked him for staying with him the night of the accident. (full context)
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...says he remembers a disgusting taste in his mouth and being really thirsty. He remembers Fin's terrified voice as the paramedics cut him out of the car. Chrissy tells Tom that... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
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...him into the crisis center was the only thing that saved him. They discuss whether Fin will actually go see Daniel, and Brendan suggests that Fin and Aunty Kath are still... (full context)