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 idolises Jim, has always taken it in his stride.
But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home.
Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has landed 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.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
- Publication Date: 09/05/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781471127373
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Review by readingwithtea
Jim and Bob Burgess have escaped their Maine upbringing to Manhattan; of the three siblings, only sad single mother Susan is left, struggling with her teenage son Zach. When Zach is caught goading local Muslim Somali refugees, high-powered lawyer Jim won’t give up his exotic holiday and sends tender but ineffectual Bob home instead. Old tensions rise unbidden...This is written in that ethereal style of much successful contemporary literature – vignettes and snapshots of sad lives, tangled by some bizarre event (it takes quite an imagination to leave a frozen pig’s head outside a mosque...). I didn’t like it in A Visit to the Goon Squad, and I didn’t like it here. If you like this style of writing, this book may hold a lot more promise for you because I didn't think it was badly written, I just don't like that style of writing!