brother. do. you. love. me

Greystone. May 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781778401442. $27.95. MEMOIR
While living in a small village in Spain in November 2021, Manni Coe received a text—“brother. do. you. love. me”—from his youngest brother Reuben, who was 38 at the time. Reuben, a person with Down Syndrome, was living in a home for adults with learning disabilities. It was located in England. Reuben’s text alarmed Manni; he immediately sensed that his brother wasn’t doing well. To help him, he moved Reuben out of the care facility and into a cottage in the countryside, where the two lived together. Manni soon discovered that the culture—not just individuals or institutions—surrounding the care of people with disabilities is problematic and in need of change. In this candid memoir, he recalls the failures and successes loved ones experienced and learned as caregivers throughout Reuben’s life. Manni’s writing and Reuben’s illustrations paint a story of heartbreak and upheaval, but ultimately, this narrative is about finding deeper meanings in brotherly and familial love.
VERDICT Readers who are or have been caregivers will relate the most to this moving, highly recommended work, but readers who enjoy stories about people uniting to overcome obstacles will appreciate this title too. Coe’s touching illustrations adorn and enhance this book.
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