Donna Morrissey: The Fortunate Brother

E Fortunate Brother is a dark atmospheric and compelling novel about the aftermath of a murder in a claustrophobic rural community in Newfoundland When a body is found in the lake suspicion falls on the troubled Now family As the mystery unfolds other far deeper secrets are revealed Compassionate and wise beautiful and brutal The Fortunate Brother is the story of a family and a community in turmoil and confirms Donna Morrissey s place as one of Canada s foremost storytellers MY THOUGHTS I almost put off reading The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey I am glad I didn t Initially I struggled with the cadence of the writing Totally my problem But then a little ways in I got it and never looked back In fact I became consumed by this raw and brutal book its rough and uncouth characters who have little if any beauty in their lives Life in this small hamlet in Newfoundland is harsh As are the people towards one another And et they are also loyal Protective of one another The author paints a bleakly atmospheric picture of the Nows their friends and family their struggles the landscape in which they live Alcohol abuse and spousal abuse are just a regular part of the day There is a passage towards the end of the book that describes my feelings perfectly He looked like an old sailor who d weathered a great storm and was now safely anchored to a pier of his own making Substitute felt for looked and that s how I felt at the end of the book Thank ou to Cannongate Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Fortunate Brother by Donna Morrissey for review All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my Goodreadscom profile page or the about page on sandysbookadaywordpresscom for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookadaywordpresscom You remember what I says You re the fortunate one You still gets to be with us for a bit longer The other one well he s watching on somewhere But we gets to live the riddle a In brief simple story maybe but great writing In fullI d not read any previous stories by Donna Morrissey so was looking forward to reading this book This is the story of the Now family who live in an outport in Newfoundland I had to check on the word outport however I uickly discovered that it refers to a small fishing village usually in Newfoundland Kyle and his family immediate and extended come over as very ordinary in the nicest sense of the word The family has seen tragedy though and this leaves a shadow over them The death of someone not generally liked in the outport makes for the main part of this story although there are other minor tales interwoven with thatFrom the start I found the writing wonderfully descriptive I thought it caught a mood or a feel for place and time very well The I read the compelling the story telling became I uickly found myself completely immersed in the story of everyday lives likes loves and hates in a small town environmentAt times this tale is tender and emotional at times wryly humourous at times macho and blokey It is always very human and accessible As someone from the other side of the pond I did find some of the collouial writing both words and style took a little getting used to However while the story here is uite simple the telling is not and makes for a great read I confess at times I did wonder just how fortunate the fortunate brother really was but I really liked the character of Kyle I d like to read of Donna Morrisey s work based on this although I did find the end didn t uite live up to the standard of the rest of the bookNote I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttpviewsonorgukfictionfortuna All my reviews can be found on my blog at wwwwhatsbetterthanbookscomIntriguing poignant and deeply movingThis story is steeped in the rugged history hardships landscape dialogue and culture that is uniue to Newfoundland The writing is smooth and flawless The characters are grounded raw hardy and loyal And the plot has a nice mix of suspense tragedy and emotionIt is ultimately a murder mystery that takes us on a subtle journey through loss love grief guilt perseverance community dynamics and family relationshipsThis is definitely a well written character driven novel by a respected Canadian author that shouldn t be missedThank ou to NetGalley especially Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. Family As the mystery unfolds other far deeper secrets are revealed Compassionate and wise beautiful and brut.

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All her troubles always remains hopeful Chris is struck once by her fortitude That whatever this new thing thickening her cloud of sorrow hope was already ignited in her heart and offering itself as a shelter for him and his father The contrast is obvious when Kyle is described But he was done with hope It took her babies and Chris and he had no courage for hope Hope had failed her too many times Rather that she had never hoped Rather that it was just those babies she grieved and not the pain of lost hope as well Kyle needs to learn what Addie has that hope eventually creeps through darkness making inroads through to an easier tomorrow and that There s good to be found in everything even grief There are of course other lessons that Kyle must learn Some people have illness everybody has something It s how Hosts (Repairman Jack, you carries it that s whatou take into the other world with Siege of Heaven (Demetrios Askiates, you That s the only thing we takes and You can t go getting down and blamingourself for stuff The Jump Artist you got no control over and You needs to be like everyone else tending toour own concerns I love the references to Job We re blessed like Job then when we feels the fear of something and does it anyway and we re sainted like Job when we can stand the pain and thrive in the end A person may be given advice but does not necessarily listen and part of the interest of the novel is in seeing ifhow Kyle will learn these lessonsAs suggested a major theme is that of hope It is introduced in the epigraph a uotation from George Eliot s Adam Bede There is no despair so absolute a Review copy courtesy of Canongate Books via NetGalley many thanksI haven t read the previous two books in the series so came to this fresh There is plenty of back story to be fed in and I have no idea how this would suit people who had read the whole series but for me it meant I could read the book as a stand alone I was sucked into the lives of the inhabitants of the small coastal community from the first page a superb feat of characterisation and was rooting for them all even the least likeable personalities The story is a whodunit with great emotional atmosphere and it rollicks along at a tremendous pace Highly recommended How is it that Donna Morrissey can take (www, you inside characters whose lives are so bleak andet somehow The Violet Hour you love being there This a bleak atmospheric and moving family saga and murder mystery Set amongst a small coastal community in Newfoundland Canada at the heart of the story is the Now family It is the first book of the trilogy that I read and I did feel my experience would have been significantly enhanced had I read the preceding two books It is a character driven story that dwells on loss grief guilt and the struggles to keep the family together in the face of tragedies and turmoilThe Now family have suffered a devastating knockback with the death of their eldest son Chris who dies on a oil rig in Alberta The central focus is on Kyle Now theoungest family member otherwise known as the fortunate brother simply because he is alive There is isolation silence guilt and conflict within the family Sylvanus the father hits the bottle to subsume his grief the guilt ridden Sylvie leaves and the one person that epitomises hope the mother Addie has to contend with further trials and tribulations Kyle tries do his best to look after and protect the family but he is barely holding it together To exacerbate matters an abusive and bullying local man is murdered and his blood is discovered on the family pier There are secrets and lies told in this beautifully written story as we learn what lies behind the murder Hanging over the entire novel is the ghost of ChrisThis is a compelling read by an author with a real talent for writing She captures the harsh life and landscape of the location well along with an air of claustrophobia She is particularly successful in her characterisations with the emo EXCERPT his father had been sick heart attack from working himself to death fishing for cod that were too scarce to pay the bills and so he doubled his workload with cutting and hauling logs for the sawmills too Heart just up and called it uits New boat and new truck parked out by the door like hungry dogs growling for their bank payments And Sylvie Good good Sylvie stepping up to the fates Came flying from her high paying job of the oil soaked fields of Alberta like Persephone Lord of Underground Wealth Took Chris back with her to the oil fields to help wrestle those snarling dogs and six weeks later Chris was dead ABOUT THIS BOOK Th. Ophobic rural community in Newfoundland When a body is found in the lake suspicion falls on the troubled Now.

I did not realise until I started reading this book that it is the third book in the trilogyThe story is about the Now family who are mourning the death of their son Chris who died while working on an Alberto Oil Rig Sylvanus the fatherhas turned to alcohol Abbie the mother is facing breast cancer and Kyle the son relationship with his sister Sylvie is strained Then the local bully is murdered and suspicion is on the Now familyThe book is mixed with suspense emotion loyalty and tragedy It has also covered love guilt and grief and the families bond I wish I had read the first two books before this one but I do think this can be read as a standaloneI would like to thank NetGalley Canongate Books and the author Donna Morrissey for my ARC in exchange for an honest review So I m pretty terrible at writing reviews for literary fiction novels because I m not particularly elouent and I feel like Biscuit Recipes you need to be for these books So please excuse the lack of detail in the following reviewI picked this novel up not really sure what to expect from it I suppose I imagined a slow moving murder mystery with a strong focus on the characters And guess what This is a mystery literary fiction so that s exactly what I gotThis was a slow going novel and there is never really a point until maybe right at the end where the pace picks up soou slowly plod along through the story As to be expected really when the story is based in a run down slightly behind the time s little village However after around 20 minutes of reading I already found myself immersed in the story and its charactersBefore going into this book I hadn t realised it was the end of a trilogy It doesn t say anywhere on the actual book that it s part of a series and honestly it read perfectly fine as a standalone novel I think one of the things that could be benefitted from starting this series from book 1 is that connection and background information ou get about some of the charactersAs with most literary fiction this is a stunningly beautifully written book with picturesue descriptions and in depth realistic characters Kyle and his family in this novel are brutally honest portrayals of people living in small reasonably poor towns and their family relationship was beautifully realIn terms of the story this was nothing revolutionary but it was interesting to watch the events unfold and see how everyone s stories came together to conclude the murder of a villager I can t say the reveal of the murderer was particularly clever or surprising but I felt the why was far interestingOverall I really enjoyed this read Although it was emotional I cried at the end and uite poignant as it touches on some difficult subjects it was still an easy book to read Thanks to Netgalley and Canongate Books for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review This is the third in a trilogy which began with Sylvanus Now and was followed by What They Wanted Readers who are familiar with the Now family will want to read this third installment but the book can certainly be read as a standaloneThis book focuses on Kyle Now who is still mourning the death of his brother Chris who died working on an Alberta oil rig The family is a troubled one Sylvanus the father takes refuge in alcohol Abbie the mother is facing breast cancer and Kyle s relationship with his sister Sylvie is strained because of what he sees as her role in Chris death Then a local bully Clar Gillard is murdered and suspicion falls on the Now family with whom he has had confrontations Characterization is amazing All characters are fully developed round characters their traits consistent with those in the first two books of the trilogy Kyle is a dynamic character At the beginning he sees nothing positive in the world Felt like the one long day for three ears now The one long dull day caught on a cloud of grief hovering over his house He has no hope Nope Kyle Now was done with wishing He does not talk and share his grief with others but worries about everyone else his constant fingernail chewing and foot jiggling clearly indicating his tension His typical response is to run he d pushed Sylvie away and ran and was still running Running from everything The novel shows how Kyle goes from such desperation to finally running towards someone and seeing the beauty around him The moon s broadening smile rose above the hills and glimmered amongst stars that were mostly dead and et whose lights still shone through the eternal sky Kyle s foil is his mother Addie despite. The Fortunate Brother is a dark atmospheric and compelling novel about the aftermath of a murder in a claustr.

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Donna Morrissey has written six nationally bestselling novels She has received awards in Canada the US and England Her novel Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and she was nominated for a Gemini for best writing for the film Clothesline Patch Her fiction has been translated into several different languages Born and raised in Newfoundland she now lives in Hal