A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{June 9, 2011}   We the Animals by Justin Torres

Plot: Three boys grow up in upstate New York, playing, fighting, always together. Their father is Puerto Rican; he is strong, proud and often angry. Their mother is white; she is always crying and sleeping off her night shifts in the brewery. This is the story of their family coming together and falling apart over and over again.

This review is based on an Advanced Reader’s Copy received at Book Expo America.

This is a beautiful and unique coming of age story. The plot is a bit disjointed but that is intentional. This is not one coherent narrative but a series of vignettes chosen to illustrate one family. And chosen very well: in 19 brief chapters, 19 snapshots, we see the loving, chaotic, tragic history of one family.

The prose is poetic and the metaphors are evocative. The novel is short enough that you can read it several times and the story engaging enough that you would want to. And with each reading will reveal new meanings.

Challenges: GLBT Challenge (5)


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