I have just finished this book in almost a single reading session. It is enthralling. I cannot remember why or how I came upon it, but I am so glad that I did.

Elizabeth Strout is a Pulitzer-Prize winning American author who I has not come across before. The Burgess Boys is predominantly about two brothers, now middle-aged adults, and how their shared past impacts on their current lives and on the lives of those around them. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It touches on so many issues, particularly relationships and family, and our expectations and need for both.

What I want to share for now is a brief reflection on loss, and its aftermath, which I found particularly moving and beautiful:

‘But Bob was not a young man, and he knew about loss. He knew the quiet that arrived, the blinding force of panic, and he knew too that each loss brought with it some odd, barely acknowledged sense of release. He was not an especially contemplative person, and he did not dwell on this. But by October there were many days when the swell of rightness, loose-limbedness, and gentle gravity came to him. It recalled to him being a child, when he found one day he could finally color within the lines.’

 

CQ

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