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The Burgess Boys

por Elizabeth Strout

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2,3782106,335 (3.69)277
Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.
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Inglês (208)  Alemão (2)  Espanhol (2)  Catalão (1)  Todas as línguas (213)
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Entertaining but flawed. Reminded me a little of Richard Russo in terms of dysfunctional family dynamics driving much of the plot. The plot itself is overheated and sometimes stretches credibility. I found Olive Kitteridge a better book, more subtle. ( )
  monicaberger | Jan 22, 2024 |
Nothing fast-paced about this book, but a realistic look at a family -- three adult siblings, actually -- dealing with the nephew's senseless prank of throwing a pig's head into a mosque in a sleepy Maine town recently populated by Somali immigrants/refugees. None of the characters are particularly likable, per se, but they are all real people with real faults and struggles, so I still found myself cheering for them. They are round and dynamic and could be anyone of us. Even the minor characters have depth. The book examines family dynmaics, identity as shaped by early trauma, and life as a refugee (in a small way).

A solid book.
  LDVoorberg | Dec 24, 2023 |
Das Buch schildert drei Geschwister, die neben ihrer gemeinsamen Kindheit durch ein gemeinsames tragisches Ereignis in ihrer Vergangenheit verbunden sind. Sie saßen in einem Auto, von dem ihr Vater tödlich überrollt wurde und es war wohl Bob, der den Gang gelöst hatte. Nun als Erwachsene, gehen die Geschwister nicht gerade zimperlich miteinander um, sie giften sich an und sie gehen einander auf die Nerven. Aber dann halten Sie doch wieder zusammen und lieben sich. Schonungslos zeigt die Autorin das Verhältnis von Geschwistern, das unbarmherzige und auch das liebevolle. Als Susans Sohn Zach in eine schwierige Situation gerät, helfen die Brüder der Schwester und dem Neffen. Die Geschichte ist durchaus spannend, auch wenn sie vielleicht etwas zu viel will. Zach hat einen Schweinskopf in eine Moschee geworfen. Es geht auch um das Thema Umgang mit Geflüchteten und mit unterschiedlichen Religionen. Was mir auch gut gefällt, ist, dass die Rolle der einzelnen innerhalb des Systems gut deutlich wird. Jim ist ja wirklich ein richtiger Unsympath, aber es wird auch klar, dass er nicht aus seiner Rolle kann und in dieser auch bedeutsam ist, als „Fixstern“ für seine Geschwister. Ähnlich ist es auch mit den anderen beiden. Was Strout wirklich kann, nämlich bis in die kleinste Nebenfigur glaubwürdige Charaktere zu schaffen, gelingt auch hier. Nur Zachs Läuterung läuft mir etwas zu glatt, immerhin war der Vater der Auslöser, dass er dann auch zur Lösung wird, finde ich nicht ganz glaubhaft. Der Schluss ist versöhnlich und insgesamt ist es ein schönes Buch. ( )
  Wassilissa | Oct 7, 2023 |
I enjoyed this book. I already know Bob Burgess from Lucy By The Sea, and as I read this book I knew some about where he would end up & so I didn't have to worry about that.
Spoilers Abound.

I'm not sure what I think about Jim's story. We don't get to see if Helen takes him back although this may be part of another book. (I don't think he is mentioned in Lucy by the Sea but maybe I forgot.) He seemed to have some self-knowledge, but he also seemed to be OK with acting badly. I am not sure if the positive end to the story of Susan & Zachary is realistic. I like how Susan was shown as a person who could see herself & change. Perhaps in contrast to Jim? And the relationship between Susan and Zachary was hopeful.
  franoscar | Apr 27, 2023 |
I’ve determined that I like books with likable characters and Ms. Strout writes books without likable characters. I did finish and thought it was an interesting story, but I didn’t look forward to picking it up. ( )
  AnneMarie2463 | Mar 31, 2023 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Elizabeth Stroutautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Campbell, CassandraNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Mirmanda (113)
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To my husband

Jim Tierney
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My mother and I talked a lot about the Burgess Family. "The Burgess kids," she called them.
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Back in New York, calling from my twenty-sixth-floor apartment one evening, watching through the window as dusk touched the city and lights emerged like fireflies in the fields of buildings spread out before me, I said, "Do you remember when Bob's mom sent him to a shrink? Kids talked about it on the playground. 'Bobby Burgess has to see a doctor for mentals.'"
"Kids are awful," my mother said. "Honest to God."
We did this kind of thing, repeated the stuff we knew.
And so it began. Like a cat's cradle connecting my mother to me, and me to Shirley Falls, bits of gossip and news and memories about the Burgess kids supported us.
A short pause, and then Bob said, "Yeah," his voice dropping into an understanding so quick and entire–it was his strong point, Helen thought, his odd ability to fall feetfirst into the little pocket of someone else's world for those few seconds.
She was thin as kindling.
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Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.

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