Brothers by Ted van Lieshout [Review]

Can you still be a brother when your brother is dead?

That’s the question that Luke must answer, in this wonderful short novel.

Six months after his brother’s death, Luke’s mother decides to burn all Marius’ possessions. Hoping the ceremony will bring some closure to her life. Luke is torn by this, he can see the point of such a ceremony, but the idea of wiping out his brothers life leaves him uncomfortable.

He’s allowed to go though Marius bedroom to keep anything he wants to, one of those things is Marius’ diary.

Initially, Luke refuses to read what his brother has written, choosing to continue writing in it himself. It’s not before long though that he’s tempted to read his brother’s words.

A dialogue begins between the two that traces the distance the grew between them at puberty and though the conversation, where Luke is able to say all the things he should have said to Marius when he was alive, particularly in regards to their sexuality (both are gay, but Luke found his sexuality harder to deal with than Marius). Slowly Luke is brought closer to his brother, the resulting bond, even closer than they were when he was alive.

A short but touching read. A wonderful find this one.

Buy: Brothers by Ted van Lieshout from the Book Depository

14 thoughts on “Brothers by Ted van Lieshout [Review]

  • September 28 at 12:48 am

    This sounds really interesting!

    • September 28 at 7:26 pm

      It is! You should definitely try to get hold of a copy!

  • September 28 at 1:53 am

    I have to ask…how bad was the sad factor on this one?

    • September 28 at 7:25 pm

      Actually it’s not particularly sad… It’s more a story about coming to terms with it more than anything. Bittersweet would be the nearest mood, probably.

  • September 28 at 3:02 am

    That sounds very sad.. and very touching. I am not sure I could read it as I cry pretty easily. :-/

    • September 28 at 7:25 pm

      Don’t panic! As I was saying to Trisha, it’s more bittersweet than sad. IYKWIM.

  • September 28 at 4:35 am

    I haven’t heard of this one before. It’s amazing how varied reactions are when someone close dies (from burning everything to preserving everything exactly as it was).

    • September 28 at 7:23 pm

      No, I’d never heard of it or the author before, please I picked it up though!

  • September 28 at 9:58 am

    Ah, thank you for pointing me towards an author from my country that I need to read!

    I have to admit your review confused me a little since your title says “Tim van Lieshout” and I knew there is a famous Dutch author called Ted van Lieshout, so I was thinking if Tim is maybe his son: I googled him and apparently there is a Tim van Lieshout, but he’s a politician. And then I noticed that this book is actually written by Ted. I do still wonder if they are related..

    • September 28 at 7:22 pm

      Ooops! 😳 Well spotted! (I’ve now corrected that.)

  • October 10 at 10:04 am

    Add yourself to the bad blogger list. I’m going to have to get this one.

  • October 12 at 12:01 pm

    This is an amazing book. Absolutely heart-wrenching and touching. Unfortunately not many people has heard of this book so just wondering, how did you know about it? 😀

    • October 12 at 11:04 am

      I just spotted it in my local second-hand bookshop and thought it looked interesting.

  • April 3 at 8:42 pm

    I think this is one of the not so much reasons to be proud on the literature of my country. It´s a verry beauthiful book, I especially love the caracter of the mother.

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