Friday, March 25, 2016

The Burgess Boys-A Book Review


Overview from Barnes and Nobel 
 Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

I am going to give this book a solid 4 star rating! I liked it! It probably isn't going to be one of those books that I will remember for the rest of my life, but it is a book that made an impact on me while reading it. For more than one reason.

First of all this story is about a family who experienced a horrific event early in their lives (much as my family did). We learn how this event affected each of them differently. Somewhere in the book I read that as kids we discover we are what we remember!! And, we are what we don't remember!! How profound is that? My brothers and sister have memories from our childhood that I didn't remember the same way they did. I always thought there was something wrong with me. But there isn't. I just don't remember things the way they remember because I was affected differently. AND THAT IS ALRIGHT! Each of us compensated for these memories in our own adult lives. 

The second thing I learned while reading this book is how it must feel to be a refuge, from a foreign country, coming to America. We think of how we feel about them. Never have I thought how they must feel about me. We are mad because they are coming to our country. Well, they are mad because they have to leave their country. And their homes. And their families, their traditions, their ways. Won't it be wonderful if we can all find a way to be more accepting?

The story is about 3 adult children who are brought together when the son of one of them tosses a frozen pig's head into a Muslim mosque. The Burgess boys are lawyers and they need to try to help their nephew get out of this bit of trouble. Every single one of these adult children are living with their own demons. I didn't like brother Jim one dang bit. Until the very end of the book when we discover that what happened early in their lives probably affected him the most. The story ends without clearly defined endings, but it left me feeling good for this family!

I am hoping all of us will learn something from reading this book!

I'm going to work on doing just that!

18 comments:

  1. Another book to add to the queue. This sounds intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interesting and sure made me think!

      Delete
  2. This sounds like a fabulous book! I really need to find some time to do more reading. I have such a hard time reading a book because I fall asleep so darn fast when I start reading...like within 3 pages... so it takes me forever to finish a book. I didn't use to be like that. i think the medication I'm on has something to do with it...
    Great review. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend Paula!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I need to do just the opposite. I need to quit reading and get up and do something. But, life is so short. Who really cares if the closets get cleaned??

      Delete
  3. I remember vividly the events in this book--they took place in Lewiston, Maine, with the population of Somali refugees. I think that's one of the reasons I loved the book as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think anytime a book is set in a familiar setting it increases your enjoyment!

      Delete
  4. That's what good literature does. It takes you out of your own head and shows you an experience you might not otherwise have. Glad it made an impact on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, you are right. That is what good literature does!

      Delete
  5. Sounds very intriguing and intricate with the plot.

    Betty

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was just going to sYmptoms, "intruiguing"!
    Oh, the idea (that) we are what we remember? That's something I won't soon forget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that idea too Myra.....We are what WE remember!!

      Delete
  7. I'm with you on this book. I liked the book, but it's not "Olive Kitteridge." But then, what book is? Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds an interesting read and good review.

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!