Review: How To Bury Your Brother

How To Bury Your Brother by Lindsey Rogers Cook

Actual Rating: 2.5

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review.*

Unfortunately, this book didn’t hit me the way I wanted it to, though plotwise there was a lot of potential.

The story starts after Rob’s suicide; Alice finds a box of letters written from her brother to various people in his life — a life she didn’t know that much about because he ran away when he was fifteen. Finally gathering up the courage to address what happened to her brother in the years they were apart, Alice delivers the letters herself and embarks on a journey to find the answers.

The plot had a lot there, but honestly I was a little confused by the chronology of things. There were things that were happening in the current timeline, but also long passages about previous occurrences with Alice and with Robinson, and it was kind of difficult to follow.

The characters were also quite interesting, but I was more connected to the present timeline with Alice and Walker and their children than with Robinson and what happened to him. Because the story started after his suicide and was so strongly in Alice’s perspective, it was honestly hard to care about Robinson and connect with him.

One thing that I really enjoyed was Alice’s character development in the present, and how even though she was given a little romance sub-plot, that did not put a halt to the mystery and her personal growth, which she kept trying to find.

The writing style was honestly a little slow for me. The first half felt like nothing was happening, and the last part felt like things were revealed very quickly, but not in a satisfying way where our main character found things out slowly and pieced them together herself, but rather because the information was handed to her in the form of a letter or just by someone telling it to her.

Ultimately, this book was just kind of “stuffy” to me. It was hard to get through because the characters were distant and the plot was slow. In more abstract terms, I appreciate the main character’s development and I appreciate the plot arc, but in execution it was hard to get through the novel.

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