How To Bury Your Brother

Sourcebooks Landmark. May 2020. 384p. ISBN 9781728205373. pap. $16.99. F
DEBUT Just before her childhood home in Atlanta is to be razed, Alice Wright finds seven sealed letters hidden in a crawl space. The letters are written by her brother, Rob Tate, who died nine years earlier. Despite her disappointment that there is no letter for her, she sets out to deliver each of them, hoping to learn about Rob’s life and—especially—why he disappeared from home just before turning 16 and never returned. She and Rob had been particularly close, despite their five-year age difference, and she looked for him while his absence irretrievably damaged their family. Now, with her father dead and her mother in assisted living, Alice must face her own marital problems and family conflicts while struggling to stop the pattern of convenient lies.
VERDICT Although the title suggests that this is a mystery, it’s actually literary fiction about a particularly dysfunctional Southern family with dark secrets, featuring a woman who confronts hard truths. This is an accomplished, insightful debut ideally suited for book groups, with reading group guide and author interview included.

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