Fifteen-year-old Fitzgerald—Fitz, to his friends—has just learned that his father, whom he's never met, who supports him but is not a part of his life, is living nearby. Fitz begins to follow him, watch him, study him, and on an otherwise ordinary May morning, he executes a plan to force his father, at gunpoint, to be with him.
Over the course of one spring day, Fitz and his father become real to one another. Fitz learns about his father, why he's chosen to remain distant and what really happened between him and Fitz's mother. And his father learns what sort of boy his son has grown up to become.
Fitz is a fifteen-year-old boy whose father has never been around. He’s been raised by his extremely loving and well-read mother, and for the past few years, Fitz has understandably been feeling a hole in his heart where his father should be. Not understandably, Fitz decides he’s going to hold up his successful lawyer father to force him to spend time together.
As you can guess, this plan has some potentially fatal flaws. The suspense of wondering whether or not Fitz is going to shoot his dad, an innocent bystander, or himself, whether intentionally or accidentally, is outrageous. My heart was pounding against my chest the entire time. Like Michael Harmon in “Under the Bridge,” Cochrane knows how to write in a way that makes your whole body react with the suspense.
What really sets Cochrane’s work apart is that he is able to put in some extremely touching and beautiful moments amidst all this suspense. Despite knowing this interaction between Fitz and his dad has been forced by gunpoint, the two have some intense conversations that show how much they both love each other regardless of the fact they’ve never spent a moment together in their lives. You truly feel Fitz’s desperation to be loved by his father, going through his roller coaster emotions of being so angry he could shoot his dad right then and there for his absence all these years, to the regret that hits Fitz like a truck for letting himself get to such an unstable point that he’s resorted to such drastic measures.
Cochrane shows readers what insane things people can do when truly desperate. While he gets you emotionally supportive of Fitz, Cochrane also makes it extremely clear that Fitz’s decision to threaten his dad with a gun is just plain crazy.
While I definitely won’t force you at gunpoint to do so, I would highly recommend reading “Fitz.”
A suspenseful read right from the start.
Emotional scenes amidst all the suspense.