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The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw

Contemporary fiction

The Half Brother

by Holly LeCraw

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Quick take

At its core, The Half Brother is a love story—but one that veers into treacherous waters.

Why I love it

Have you have ever had to tell a lover a terrible secret? Or confront a wayward sibling, or care for an aging parent? In The Half Brother, the characters confront many difficult questions about the ties that bind: the choices parents make, the obligations siblings hold to each other, the guilt of leaving one's home behind, and the boundaries between love and loyalty.

The setting, a tony New England boarding school, provides an intense microcosm in which the characters' lives intersect in powerful and unexpected ways, with consequences that are both wonderful and horrific. The author creates and then pulls apart the twisty knots of messy relationships among husbands and wives, teachers and students, fathers and sons, and, of course, half brothers.

At its core, The Half Brother is a love story—but one that veers into treacherous waters. Charlie Garret, a fresh college grad, lands his first teaching job at the Abbott School. He soon finds himself infatuated with May Bankhead, one of his students who just happens to be the chaplain's daughter. When Nick, Charlie's handsome younger half brother, arrives in Abbott to teach and charms the entire town, a tangled web of affairs ensues. And this is just the tip of the iceberg…

All the elements of an extraordinary read are present here: evocative language, conflicted and genuine characters, a story that is both immediately gripping and satisfyingly well-constructed, and themes that bleed beyond the novel itself. Ultimately, the book contemplates the idea that the arcs of our lives are impacted by forces beyond our control. With so much here to sink your teeth into, you will find yourself wondering "what would I do?" while the author keeps you guessing until the very end.

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Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
Honey
The Leftover Woman
The Same Bright Stars
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
Jackpot Summer
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Again and Again
Evil Eye
Black Cake
Maame
Romantic Comedy
Someone Else’s Shoes
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
The Bad Muslim Discount
What Comes After
Olga Dies Dreaming
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel
Monster in the Middle
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes
Honey Girl
In Every Mirror She's Black
Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?
Sankofa
The Unsinkable Greta James
The Love of My Life
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Wishing Game
Behold the Dreamers
The Mothers
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Little Fires Everywhere
The Music Shop
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
The Reckless Oath We Made
Dear Edward
When We Were Vikings
The Girl with the Louding Voice
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
All Adults Here
Happy & You Know It
Friends and Strangers
The Comeback
True Story
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Chicken Sisters
The Prophets
The Kindest Lie
In a Book Club Far Away
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Most Likely Club
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket