Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Things A Brother Knows

Good Reads Summary: 

The story of a young marine’s return from war in the Middle East and the psychological effects it has on his family.
Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero.
But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.
Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.
Award-winning author Dana Reinhardt introduces readers to Levi, who has never known what he believes, and whose journey reveals truths only a brother knows.

I am generally skeptical when reading books that have to do with the military and the current on-going conflicts. As an Army wife, I'm usually appalled by the lack of understanding that seems to be rampant in many of the books or I'm put off by the fact the many of the books on this theme seem to be written for the single purpose of protesting the war without any thought to actually writing a good story.  So, I was a little wary of reading The Things A Brother Knows.

I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Reinhardt tells a compelling story that highlights the impact of military service on the family as well as the soldier. While Boaz' military service sets the background for this story, it's also very much about the relationship between a younger brother and his older brother. It is also about a journey: Levi's journey to understand his brother. Boaz's journey to find himself - though in truth Boaz's journey does not truly begin until the book ends. 

Reinhardt has created well developed characters with a great deal of depth. You can't help but feel for each of them as they struggle with trying to return to the way things were, finally realizing that will never happen. This was an engaging read that I did not want to put down.  It was not a statement about the war, but a wonderfully painted picture about how experiences change not only the person who has those experiences, but also changes those around them.

I consider this one of my best reads in 2011 so far.

No comments: