Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

I have enjoyed everything that Elizabeth Strout has written and her latest novel is an exceptionally good read.
The story of the Burgess Boys and their sister Susan and her son Zach with pivotal roles played by other characters, this is the story of a family that's life has spun on a dime more than once and whose greatest influence is an accident that happened when the Burgess children were very young.
In this thoughtfully written book, the disintegration of each siblings life is examined under a microscope that is both harsh and fair, no stone is left unturned, no want or desire unexplored, motivation for an action is unravelled like the skin of an onion. It would be fair to say that no one in this book is unscathed by the past while enjoying a less than stellar present.
Elizabeth Strout is a gifted writer, she has a Pulitzer to her name and it is not hard to see why. Her tale pulls you in and holds you there, you want to know the why`s and the where`s, you engage with the characters and invest in their journey, you find yourself asking your own questions of the characters and thinking about them and pondering their futures long after you have turned the last page.
Like Olive Kitteridge, this book has real insight into human nature, it has great dialogue and wonderful humour but most of all it took a rather ordinary tale and turned it into something rather extraordinary, Strout does this in my opinion by using words that transform, that invigorate, words that open a situation to exposure without over usage, the story linked chapter to chapter simply flows.
An outstanding read from one of my very favourite authors, along with reading this book which is available in Trade Paperback, I would also recommend you get a hold of Amy and Isabelle and Olive Kitteridge which are available in Paperback and via the Library System.

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