I’ve discovered Elizabeth Strout a long time after she had established herself as a very good writer. Her new book, The Burgess Boys came out this year, but her previous book, Olive Kitteridge won The Pulitzer Prize for fiction when it was published.
The Burgess Boys is the story of brothers Jim and Bob Burgess. Jim has been the successful big city lawyer whose life looks glossy and perfect. Bob has always looked up to Jim even though Jim does his best to belittle Bob, the soft, legal aid lawyer, at every opportunity. Their sister Susan is the sibling who stayed back in their Maine hometown and when her son Zach is in trouble, she calls on her brothers for help.
The brothers go back to assist and long held rivalries and tensions resurface. Their history together has managed to be held at bay while the brothers have been away, but their hometown and hometown memories come back.
Elizabeth Strout is able to depict some very different characters and we like and dislike them, as well as empathise with them. She is masterful.
One to put on your reading list.