Updated: Feb 7, 2021
How to Bury Your Brother by Lindsey Rogers Cook takes on a story of life’s uncertainty. Alice is a mother of two, married to a lawyer who’s supportive of her centre for environmental studies and cares for her ailing mother who suffers from dementia. However, Alice’s brother, Rob ran away when she was 13 and she despite what her family wanted to believe, she never recovered from his loss.
When her family had to arrange a funeral for her brother who committed suicide several years later, secrets begin to leak out that fractures her marriage and everything Alice believed was true. After finding addressed letters from her Rob, she goes on a journey to deliver the letters to their rightful owners and to find out why Rob didn’t leave her one.
The story was difficult to get into because although there was a mystery surrounding Rob’s disappearance and how he ended up taking his own life several years later, most of the book was Alice’s focus and whole mindset about her brother. Discovering the letters from her brother triggered an almost obsessive toll on Alice’s sanity for her finding out more about who Rob was after he had left. I ended up skimming a bunch of pages because the stages of when Alice was piecing things together from her past was becoming an omnibus of Rob Rob Rob.
However, the book picks up speed when Alice delivers the final letter and meets up with Jake, her ex-boyfriend before she met her husband, and the one who also left a huge void in her life. At this point because the focus became less about Rob (although it does of course, circle back to him) and more about Alice’s marriage and finding her old true love, it became more interesting for me.
It was a good read at the end and although I wasn’t sold on the story for the first half, if you stick with it, I think you’ll end up liking it.
3 out of 5 stars.
Have you ever read a story that was hard to get into, but once you stuck with it, the book ended up redeeming itself? If so, what were those books?
Book Synopsis from GoodReads
Her brother's letters reveal everything--if only he'd written one to her.
Alice always thought she'd see her brother again. Rob ran away when he was fifteen, with so many years left to find his way home. But his funeral happened first.
Now that she has to clear out her childhood home in Georgia, the memories come flooding in, bringing with them an autopsy report showing her family's lies-and sealed, addressed letters from Rob.
In a search for answers to questions she's always been afraid to ask, Alice delivers the letters. Each dares her to open her eyes to her family's dark past-and her own role in it. But it's the last letter, addressed to her brother's final home in New Orleans, that will force her to choose if she'll let the secrets break her or finally bring her home.
Everything I Never Told You meets The Night Olivia Fell set against a vivid Southern backdrop,How to Bury Your Brother follows a sister coming to terms with the mystery behind her brother's disappearance and death.