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Brother & Sister Enter the Forest
Brother & Sister Enter the Forest: A Novel | Richard Mirabella
2 posts | 2 read | 15 to read
Opening like a fairy tale and ending like a nightmare, this cannonball of a queer coming-of-age novel follows a young man's relationship with a violent older boyfriendand how he and his sister survive a terrible crime After years of severed communication, Justin appears on his sisters doorstep needing a place to stay. The home he's made for himself has collapsed, as has everything else in his life. When they were children, Willa played the role of her brothers protector, but now, afraid of the chaos he might bring, shes reluctant to let him in. Willa lives a carefully ordered life working as a nurse and making ornate dioramas in her spare time. As Justin tries to connect with the people shes closest toher landlord, her boyfriend, their mothershe begins to feel exposed. Willa and Justins relationship has always been strained yet loving, frustrating and close. But it hits a new breaking point when Justin spirals out of control, unable to manage his sobriety and the sustained effects of a brain injury. Years earlier, in high school, desperate to escape his home life and his disapproving, troubled mother, Justin falls into the hands of his first lover, a slightly older boy living on his own who offers Justin some semblance of intimacy and refuge. When Justins boyfriend commits a terrifying act of violence, the two flee on a doomed road trip, a journey that will damage Justin and change his and his familys lives forever. Weaving together these two timelines, Brother & Sister Enter the Forest unravels the thread of a young mans trauma and the love waiting for him on the other side.
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This is a breathtaking debut - it‘s quiet and raw and the pain & trauma is felt in every simple sentence. I did struggle with the nonlinear timeline and wonder if it would have read differently in print instead of audio. I was gripped with a sense of dread the entire time I spent with this book but I never wanted to stop listening. There‘s a vulnerability and innocence in both main characters, siblings Justin & Willa which was beautiful.

squirrelbrain Great review! This has been on my radar since the #camplitsy23 nominations. 4d
TrishB Definitely be keeping my eye out for this one! 4d
BarbaraBB I nominated it, it‘s about time I read it too! 4d
Megabooks Wow! Stellar review! 2d
Cinfhen It‘s really unsettling @squirrelbrain @TrishB @BarbaraBB @Megabooks it would have made for good conversation but it‘s a HEAVY book - difficult subject matter 1d
82 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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SUPER UNSETTLING - Great suggestion @BarbaraBB
Would have been a wonderful book for #CampLitsy23
I‘m feeling stressed from reading this book - there‘s a menacing undertone

BarbaraBB Another one I‘d love to read! 4d
Cinfhen You‘re gonna LOVE it @BarbaraBB What else has this author written??? 4d
TrishB This sounds great 👍🏻 stacking and going it goes down in price! 4d
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Cinfhen It‘s SOOOOO sad @TrishB but it‘s definitely in your wheelhouse / hope the price comes down too!!! 4d
julieclair Even just reading the title stresses me out. 😂 4d
Cinfhen Hahaha @julieclair 😂😂😂 but no joke…there‘s a real intensity and vulnerability in the prose. I was enthralled 4d
paper.reveries Please don't tell me it's about animals dying 😫 4d
Cathythoughts Interesting !!! I‘ll have to try a sample at least 👍🏻 3d
Cinfhen Noooooo, you‘re safe on that count @paper.reveries 3d
Cinfhen Definitely @Cathythoughts !!!! 3d
72 likes6 stack adds10 comments