Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout...

How I Heard About It:  One of my favorite things to do is to browse the audio shelves at my local library.  These audio novels have changed my commutes for the better.  When I came across this title I recognized the author's name.  After reading the blurb, I decided to give it a try.  

What It Is About:  Jim, Bob, and Susan Burgess grew up in Maine.  When they were young their father had a freak accident and was killed.  Each of them carried a memory of this event and those memories didn't match up with each other.  Jim and Bob left Maine to practise law in New York City.  One brother became a big-time lawyer and the other one went into law, but not to the degree his sibling did.  Susan remained in Maine with her child Zach.  After Zach is arrested for a "racially" focused crime, the two brothers are requested to come home to help their sister and her son.  Susan and Zach have been left alone after Susan's husband left her and moved away.  Susan and Zach have had a strange history and the brothers find it hard to relate to them, but know they want to help them as much as possible.  While dealing with the "case", memories and family history is brought back to the current time, and all three siblings realize they must deal with the past in order to move forward.  

What I Thought Of It:  This was an extremely enjoyable audio novel to listen to.  The narrator was outstanding and so easy to listen to.  The story line moved along quickly and was quite engaging.  I loved how the novel really had two major plots running parallel to each other.  The first being the present day case with the nephew and the second being what happened to these three adults in their childhood.  The character development was awesome and I really got to know the characters well.  This was my first novel by Strout and I know I will be reading other works by her.  She is a talented writer.  

Who Should Read It:  I would think that all adult readers who enjoy a strong fiction story with well-developed characters will find enjoyment with this book.  The plot really has everything that a reader craves.  Give it a try and I hope you like it as much as I did.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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