“There was brotherhood between people who had fed from the same breast; a kinship that even time could not break.” – Khaled Hosseini
Author Monica Thomas’s book ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ is a short fiction read about the exploits of a band of four brothers. Growing up in dire straits and poverty on the streets, they had only each other to lean back on. Living the hard life meant that they often ended up operating outside the confines of the law. When one of the brothers Reshard tries to mend his ways and live a normal life different from his brothers, he finds that their past isn’t willing to let go off them easily. His battle for deliverance from the clutches of past ignominy leads to irreversible losses but it also provides him with a fresh start in the form of four kids who become an indispensable part of his life.
Good writers often get the message across rather quickly. And Monica does this with aplomb in this short fictional story. Her writing has this rather hurried and also claustrophobic appeal to it which draws you into the lives of her characters. And they are a great bunch too, retelling a story line that hinges on the old saying – you live by the sword you die by the sword. The author successfully captures the never ending cycles of dysfunctional behaviour that certain families go through. Reshard’s attempts at breaking this cycle and his anger in getting pulled back are all well documented. The pitfalls of harbouring hatred and anger in your heart have also been addressed by the author.
It’s a good read which tells us that even though we may not have any control over the kind of childhood we receive, we still owe it ourselves to turn our adult life around and break the pattern of self-destruction.
Paperback: 104 pages
Publisher: America Star Books (December 6, 2013)