Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review ~ Brothers by Ralph Josiah Bardsley


At twenty-three, Jamus Cork’s plans are simple—graduate college, stay in New York City, and write. But those plans change when his parents are suddenly killed and he finds himself the guardian of his little brother, Nick. Jamus ends up back in the Boston neighborhood where he grew up, with a crying toddler on his knee and the challenge of building a new life for himself and the boy. Jamus somehow finds a way to navigate the ups and downs of single parenting, but over a decade of raising Nick, Jamus never truly overcomes his struggles with loneliness and the guilt he feels as the sole survivor of the crash that killed his parents. That changes when he meets bookishly handsome Sean Malloy. There’s a spark between the two men, but both must face down their own private demons to find love in the Irish enclave of South Boston

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5 Stars

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

At the age of 23 Jamus loses both of his parents in a horrible car accident, while they are visiting him in New York, where he has just finished Grad school. Jamus wakes up a week later in the hospital with his life turned upside down. He has not only lost his parents, but he is now the sole guardian and caregiver for his 3 year old baby brother. 

Sean comes from a close knit Irish American family. He has just graduated with his doctorate and is about to begin his first teaching job at a prestigious boarding school. 

This is not a gay romance, like I assumed it was when I read the blurb. It does center around two main characters that are gay. One who came to terms with it years ago, and the other who is hiding from it. Jamus has always been pretty open about his sexuality. He has been honest with his brother from the first time Nick asks "how come they don't have a mom in the house like all the other kids?"  Sean on the other hand is deeply in the closet. In fact, I'm not sure until he meets Jamus he even realizes he's gay. It's never really stated in the story. 

This is not so much Jamus and Sean's story of their relationship, as it is about these two sets of brothers, Sean and Kevin and Jamus and Nick, and how they make their way through life as brothers. How they support one another. Fight with one another. Push one another, and help one another deal with the guilt and fears they have. The relationship between Jamus and Sean is just a very tiny part of the story. The story is told from multiple POV's, but we mostly hear from Jamus, Sean and Nick. 

I was held captivated by the story. The author pulled me into these brothers' lives and kept me hanging onto their every word. They were all extremely likable characters. The story while a bit slow paced at times, was well written and very enjoyable. It left some unresolved questions, and the story was left very open ended. I came away wanting to know where these four young men are headed, yet I was somehow left satisfied that I could use my own imagination to lead me on the remainder of their journey, but I definitely wouldn't say no to a sequel if the author was kind enough to write one. 

Very enjoyable and highly recommended!! 

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