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 listeners long after the ausiobook is over. 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.
©2013 Elizabeth Strout (P)2013 Random House Audio
"Deeply human... Though loneliness and loss haunt these pages, Strout also supplies gentle humor and a nourishing dose of hope.” (Booklist)
Although this wasn't the story I was expecting, it is okay. However, the characters seem ill-formed or overly vague or perhaps they just don't make sense to me. I became so impatient with the characters that I wanted to shake them or at least hurry along to get the book finished. I would not recommend this one.
This is a serious book and has moments of real human response which were funny
Words spoken in season is like a fresh rain.
Sorry, didn't review the print.
Bob. The most balanced (and sane).
She's a great reader.
Interesting book. Jim was a trip. I would have liked to see if Helen allowed him back.
A story that covers so many levels of human relationships that you'll be sad when it ends. Well worth the read.
I found this book difficult to get through. Unlike some other listeners I think the problem is that it is too well written. I know people who treat each other this way. Elizabeth Strout nailed it. The relationship between the brothers was so difficult during the first third of the book that I cried and would not have continued if it were not my book club's choice for this month. There are no likable characters in this book. Bob is nice, but a little to vague to be truly admirable. Otherwise everyone is so damaged it is painful. It reminds me a little bit of Mrs.Bridge, but perhaps that is just because that book depressed me as well. The story never really lightens at any point. I think the ending is supposed to be happy, and for two characters there is hope. Again I want to stress that the writing is good and the narration good; the book is just pretty much a downer from start to finish.
I enjoyed the story of the Burgess boys and their sister, even though I didn't particularly like or relate to any of them. The insight into human behaviour and society's reaction when confronted with refugees was very well portrayed by Elizabeth Strout. The narrator was very good.
I would listen to this book again. Strout does a wonderful job with character development. Each one is real and believable!
Actually, when has Elizabeth Strout written a bad book? Done with her inimitable style and inimitable observations of how we humans behave, both badly and well. A gem.
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