Strout it Out!
There are some writers that you are committed to. You’ve read one of their novels, and it’s enough to make you buy all books with their name on them. After I read Olive Kitteridge, I had to read everything Elizabeth Strout wrote before then. Now, after her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, comes The Burgess Boys.
Two brothers who grew up in Maine now are lawyers in New York City. After they receive a call from their sister that their nephew has done something deplorable back in Maine, they reluctantly return to town.
Most of Strout’s novels center around Shirley Falls, a small town in Maine. I’m drawn to her description of this town and the lives people have there. For this novel, themes about immigration and outsider/insider come into play along with questioning how close we as Americans are with our own family. As the novel progresses, characters change and new revelations show that things are not what they seem.
Strout’s narrative style gets me pulled in. She brings me to a small town and I don’t want to leave. I hate putting her novels down.