finished reading...

I am biased about this book because it's set in Maine and evokes the atmosphere--from cans of Moxie in the fridge to the swirling leaves of fall, it's full of atmosphere.** This is a layered story. It's about family, community, the lies we tell ourselves, honor, and ultimately redemption. It is my book group's May selection and there will be much to discuss.

In a town called Shirley Falls which has a growing Somali population (much like Lewiston, Maine), a pig's head is hurled through the town's mosque by Zach, a socially awkward nineteen-year-old. Of course a political debate about intolerance-both racial and religious, is sparked. Zach's uncles, both of whom work in law, return to Shirley Falls to help defend him. Jim, the more successful and high-powered attorney wants to flash and blast his charismatic way through the situation. Bob, the legal aid attorney who eschews the courtroom wants to get to the heart of the matter. Zach's mother, Susan, is the estranged twin sister to Bob and has lived her entire bitter life in Shirley Falls.

From Goodreads:

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

**I was adviser to the high school's Civil Rights Team and we sent a banner to the 2002 peace rally. And I remember the pig's head incident from 2006.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This looks really good. Just added it to my Shelfari TBR shelf.