Saturday, July 2, 2016

Brothers by Ralph Josiah Bardsley

AuthorRalph Josiah Bardsley 
Publisher: Bold Stroke Books
Date of publication: December 2015

At twenty-three, Jamus Cork's plans are simple—graduate college, stay in New York City, and write. But those plans change when his parents are suddenly killed and he finds himself the guardian of his little brother, Nick. Jamus ends up back in the Boston neighborhood where he grew up, with a crying toddler on his knee and the challenge of building a new life for himself and the boy. Jamus somehow finds a way to navigate the ups and downs of single parenting, but over a decade of raising Nick, Jamus never truly overcomes his struggles with loneliness and the guilt he feels as the sole survivor of the crash that killed his parents. That changes when he meets bookishly handsome Sean Malloy. There's a spark between the two men, but both must face down their own private demons to find love in the Irish enclave of South Boston.

Brothers, explores the dynamics between two sets of Irish American brothers from South Boston.  Their lives meet in unexpected ways and, as they grow together they learn about bravery, love and being comfortable in their own skins.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like Brothers.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story.  I'm glad I gave it a chance. Jamus gave up his future to raise his little brother after their parents were killed in a car accident.  He hasn't let go of the guilt he feels over that accident since he was driving the car the night they died.  Sean Malloy has moved back to Boston to take teach high school English.  There is an interest right off the bat, but Sean is struggling with his own feelings about being gay.

 I wouldn't really classify this as a romance. It's a beautiful written story about the power of love in family and friendship.  In the story, there are two sets of brothers both trying to figure out how to work through their own demons.  Of the two sets, Jamus and Nick really spoke to me.  I loved their relationship.  It wasn't perfect and that really came across to me in the book.  Nick's struggle with the truth of what happened to his parents in conjunction with the revelations in Jamus's book was heartwrenching. But, what he learns in the end was priceless. I also enjoyed the relationship between Sean and his brother Kevin.  The way Kevin stood up for him after he came out to his family was amazing.  

My only complaint about the book was that it wasn't long enough.  I felt like it ended a bit abruptly.  I would have loved an epilogue or to have seen some resolution with Sean's family.  Despite that, I highly recommend this book.  It's a great debut and I see good things in the future for this author.

About the author:

Ralph Josiah Bardsley was born in a small town outside of Boston. His father was in the Coast Guard and he grew up in a lot of different places – New Orleans, Cape Cod, North Carolina and Sitka, Alaska. When he wasn’t in school, he spent most of his time in Coast Guard hangers or reading. Today he lives in San Francisco with his husband Dana. Ralph's hobbies include writing, running and wine tasting! Ralph works in the high tech industry in marketing. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Greensboro College and a master’s in communication from Emerson College.

Website Goodreads Author Page Amazon Author Page Facebook Twitter

No comments: