Brother & Sister Enter the Forest

Dreamscape Media. Apr. 2023. 7:51 hrs. ISBN 9781666636307. $17.99. F
Justin and Willa have not spoken in years, but after Justin’s life falls apart, he attempts to reconnect with his sister. Willa has constructed an ordered life for herself, working as a nurse and creating intricate dioramas as a hobby. Her relationship with Justin has always been fraught, so she feels exposed when he attempts to connect with those closest to her. When his brain injury causes Justin to spiral out of control and make terrible decisions, he and Willa take off on a road trip that will change their lives. Mirabella’s debut is a modern take on “Hansel and Gretel,” which delves into the complexities of sibling relationships. The story is relayed through two timelines, allowing listeners to see a fuller picture of the siblings’ past and current relationship, including a glimpse into their complicated interactions with their mother. Eve Passeltiner narrates the twins as they struggle to understand each other and reconnect after many years and experiences apart.
VERDICT Mirabella’s ambitious novel tackles relationships, sexual orientation, and physical and mental healing. A layered tale that should appeal to fans of Emily Ruskovich’s Idaho or Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life.
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