Page Count: 194
Release Date: September 26, 2017
CW: racism, police brutality, gun violence, death, grief, homophobia
Just a couple weeks ago, I posted about how all my favorite books are about grief and loss (check it out here, in case you missed it), so it should come as little surprise that I was drawn to Brother by David Chariandy like a magnet. I had seen the below trailer and just knew that I NEEDED to read this immediately.
Brother is one of those quiet but impacting books. It wins you over with descriptions of daily life, slowly building up to the devestation you are bound to face all the while accompanied by the inner turmoil of the narrator. Most stories about grief are that way, I think. Slow, deliberate, but crushing.
Experiencing loss is such an intimate thing and can look so different for everyone. Some people can’t let go and there’s a question in there somewhere of whether they should. Grief, for many, feels like something to wallow in alone, but can also be a beautiful, albeit sad, forger of bonds. Switching between past and present, I often found myself tearing up the most at the moments about the people that remained. I can’t quite put into words why that need for community in our direst moments was so hard hitting, but it speaks to something deep inside me.
If I could change one thing about the book, it’s that I’d probably add one more chapter. It doesn’t necessarily need it, but I would like to have it for personal closure.
I think this story, despite being set a couple decades ago in Canada, is unfortunately still very timely and something many people are confronted with. I also believe that it will translate powerfully on screen.
Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Grief books and I just work.
Now, if you didn’t believe what I had to say above, you just watch that trailer and tell me this story won’t rip your heart out. I already recognized so many scenes from the book in the brief sequences we got to see here. The fact that Lamar Johnson, who just delivered another heartbreaking performance as someone’s brother on The Last of Us, is just the cherry on top. I will be seated when the movie releases later this year!