Do not attempt to read this book until you are prepared to be immersed in a world of carnage, hate, rage, revenge, despair, and pure evil.
In the last year, I admit I haven't had the time necessary to devote to reading and reviewing. Often times I find that I can walk away from a novel for days until I remember reading and reviewing is what I do. It's how I like to pass the time. Up until now, I had not found a book that grabbed my attention the way Brother had. Ania Ahlborn would not allow me to walk away for days upon days until I knew the story behind the Morrow brothers.
The Morrow family is far from the ideal, picturesque family we all hope to find in our literature or on our TV screens. Hell, they aren't even close to being a dysfunctional family. Calling them dysfunctional would be a compliment. They are instead a family hidden away in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Their seclusion from society makes it all the more easier to perform the heinous acts of cruelty that they have come to share as if just another family activity.
Michael Morrow dreams of a life outside of this dread. A life beyond the mountains where he can escape the carnage and finally rid his life of all the bloodshed. He longs for this world but is too afraid to make it happen. So... he continues with the family trade. I felt the most compassion for him. He's the most fleshed out of the characters in this novel. He's the most human as he deals with regret and compassion for the victims of his family's cruelty.
It's easy to feel sorry for Michael and hope he comes out on top. Afterall, he didn't choose this family. This family actually chose him. I wanted to believe that he is a product of his environment. Most of his actions were made out of fear and a twisted loyalty to a brother, Rebel, who he wants nothing more than to please. I felt sorry for him almost long enough to forget my compassion is better suited for the Morrow family victims.
Brother explores the family dynamics that don't change and are universal in every family structure. No matter how depraved or deranged that family is, there's always going to be a sense of loyalty and a need to please. Sibling rivalry and jealousy are prevalent as well in the family structure. Ahlborn forces readers to see past the blood ridden pages and explore what it means to be a family. Brother is a must read. I look forward to reading more from Ania Ahlborn. ****
Copy provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley