Bones of My Brother by J. Frank Dunkin
This novel succeeds in creating an enjoyable story about love, and the family ties that not only bind us together, but shape us more than anything else. ‘Bones of My Brother’ by J. Frank Dunkin tells the story of two couples, John and Evelyn who live in Alabama during the middle of the twentieth century, and Price and Joy whose story takes place in Minnesota during the century’s final years. This engrossing family saga delves into the seemingly parallel lives of John and his son, Price and explores their dreams, successes, failures, loves, and even the secrets that they’ve hidden deep within. Both men have to struggle in order to move forward in their lives without the darkness of the past creeping up on them as they try their best to forget about their regrets, striving to do better. In the end, this novel is a gripping tale about the disappointments we are faced with in life, and how we work to redeem ourselves, finding our humanity as the wonders of this world guide us along the way.
The characters in this novel are flawed, but they are still the kinds that the reader will be rooting for. Dunkin describes the souls contained within in such a lovely way, developing their desires as the pages continue to turn, the complexities of who they are, and why they do the things they do never getting lost in the background. The sadness of the story is interspersed with moments of happiness, and a few lines in the book will even elicit laughter. The setting of the Deep South is shown in an intricate and delicate light, while still revealing its charms and wonders. Since the author himself grew up in Alabama, it is obvious that this is a place he is very fond of. All in all, ‘Bones of My Brother’ is a great read that will remind you of your own life, and how the ties to family and the ones we love the most is what matters at the end of the day.
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