The Burgess Boys

I’m behind on writing up the books I’ve been reading, but over the 4th of July weekend I read Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys and it was a lovely holiday weekend jaunt into a family’s life that was both difficult but so much like so many us experience. The Burgess family were a golden family of a small town in Maine. When the children were young they suffered tragedy, which is what drives much of the story.

The two brothers who are the focus of the story reacted very differently to the tragedy. And their mother, and how she treated the boys versus the only daughter is also a factor. But it is when the next generation acts and does something out of character, that the brothers come together to help and the family finally faces the tragedy, 50 years or so after it happened.

I’d never read a book by Strout and as a first read I enjoyed this. I have Oliver Kitteridge on my list as well, and I now know that she writes fantastic stories that are about the characters. They are about us, essentially, humans, and how they react in situations they can’t always control. I enjoyed spending time with the Burgess family, flawed as they are.