We Are the Brennans, a review by Amy

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We Are the Brennans
Tracey Lange

Celadon Books
271 pages
Available: August 3

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“Shame and guilt are like plagues. And we Irish wield them like weapons and wear them like medals.”

I was quickly swept away by the Brennans and their story. Lange’s portrayal of this beautiful yet flawed family masterfully invites you into their fold. I came to adore these people, even when I was occasionally flabbergasted by them. And when the chips were down, I rooted for them hard.

Sunday fled NY, her fiancé, and her big Irish family five years ago with a secret, and she outran that secret every day…until she hit a concrete barrier. Waking up in a hospital room with her big brother looming over her bed, Sunday realizes that she can’t outrun shame and secrets never really stay buried. The story revolves around Sunday’s secret. But it was never hers alone. Each member of the family suffers the ramifications of her decision.

Each Brennan is unique and multifaceted…four distinct entities, yet they fit together perfectly and create an ideal (albeit a tad dysfunctional) team. Lange expertly depicts the complexities of families…showing the ugly underbelly of family dynamics right alongside their beautiful bond.

Lange’s writing drew me in and kept me hanging on. But those chapter transitions…they deserve a spotlight all their own! Lange is teaching a masterclass on how to seamlessly and creatively transition chapters. Changing the POV in the midst of a scene kept me entranced. It could’ve been messy. It could’ve been convoluted. But NO. This worked. And it kept me spellbound. There was a necessity with which I had to follow the new perspective into the new chapter. Utterly brilliant. (I’ll also note that this brilliance destined me to finish the book in one sitting.)

I loved everything about this book. The characters. The story. The lesson. Well, everything except that it had to come to an end.  This book is now available through the Book of the Month club.  Or you’ll find it everywhere on August 3rd.

Happy reading!



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