Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Book Review: We are the Brennans

By Melissa Amster

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-fiancĂ©. 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. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I had received We Are the Brennans through a promotional giveaway the publisher was doing on Facebook. When it arrived, I just put it on my shelf for a while, as I had a lot in my TBR already. Then I started seeing recommendations, so I added it to my five-book pile. I am glad I gave it a chance, as it was a really well-written debut! 

The story was interesting throughout and told in an engaging fashion. I liked seeing the variety of perspectives and enjoyed getting to know Sunday and her brothers, as well as some other characters, this way. The descriptions and dialogue brought the story to life in a genuine way. I felt like I was in the middle of all the family drama throughout. I was also trying to guess at what the family secrets would turn out to be. While some parts felt predictable in that regard, there were a lot of surprises too. I like how a quote at the end of each chapter would lead into the next chapter. I also loved how Sunday and her brothers all looked after each other. It reminds me of the kind of bond my kids have now and I hope they will continue to have that as they get older. 

Overall, I'm glad I read this novel. Fans of family sagas will really like it and it was just the right length, even though each chapter was long. 

Movie casting suggestions:
Sunday: Hari Nef
Jackie: Joe Keery
Vivienne: Brianne Howey
Theresa: Ali Cobrin

Thanks to Celadon for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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