About the Book:
In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.
When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.
Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.
Very engaging family drama. Tracey Lange is an author to watch! I was very surprised to learn that this was the author’s debut novel.
I could not put the book down for the first 50 or so pages. I found Sunday Brennan to be intensely likeable and relatable and I was very invested in her story. Sunday fled her tight-knit family in New York for the bright lights of L.A. but is struggling to make ends meet. She is lonely and when she is involved in an accident while driving under the influence, she returns home with her brother.
The Brennan’s family secrets are slowly revealed throughout the book. Every chapter is told from a different character’s point of view. Some readers loved the method used by the author of beginning each chapter with the last thing said by a character in the previous chapter. I will say that I did not find this appealing but what doesn’t work for me might be loved by another reader. I did enjoy the family drama, the hardships endured by each family member, and the way they all pulled together and protected each other no matter what. They might not have agreed with each other’s life choices but they all had each other’s backs.
‘We Are the Brennans’ is engaging and definitely has some unexpected twists. Reading is very subjective and this book is receiving some rave reviews. Tracey Lange is clearly a very talented writer and I definitely look forward to reading more books from her in the future.
(Thanks to Celadon Books for providing a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.)