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Jacqueline

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Denver, CO, USA

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  • Big Brother: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Lionel Shriver
    • Narrated By Alice Rosengard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (146)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (135)

    When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the four years since the siblings last saw each other, he has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? Imposing himself on Pandora's world, Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, and entices her stepson to drop out of high school. After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me.

    Jacqueline says: "Well worth the credit--"
    "Well worth the credit--"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This author is becoming one of my favorites. Starting with the deep, complex story of striving, grief and eventually a very satisfying ending in "So Much for That"--I have been hooked on her novels. If you have not tried her yet---you are missing out on a unique talent.

    Big brother is completely enthralling from the first paragraph to the last. Told from the view point of Pandora who is married and the step-mom of two teenagers---the family is faced with making room in their lives when Pandora's obese brother moves in with them for a "visit" - and it soon becomes obvious he has no real plans to leave. Her brother had been a musician and quite fit last time she saw him-- about four years ago. Apparently he fell on hard times and decided to eat his way to feeling better. Lately he has been living on the couch of a friend, who has had all he can take of the freeloader.

    Pandora's husband has an especially hard time as he is a health nut who is committed to eating only healthy food and exercising religiously. Just the presence of Pandora's brother seems to irritate him, and he encourages her to cut the visit short. As the families routines and relationships start to wear thin, Pandora decides to help her brother lose weight (so she won't feel guilty just sending him back home in his current condition) --thinking this will be kind of a new start to his life.

    With the main story being the brother and his issues, the little sub-plots are all woven in expertly to bring everything together. A lot of dialogue goes on in Pandora's own head as she reasons with herself about her own actions and what she sees the end goal to be.

    Lionel Shriver is always surprising, though, in how her novels all have some kind of twist that you don't expect. This was no exception. A complete pleasure to listen to this one.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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