4 out of 5 stars
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Brian and Me by Jan Pauw is a fictional novel set in contemporary US times that displays the relationship between a father and son. In this book, we see the unconditional love Norm shows his son Brian, despite having to put up with his excesses. In the novel, Norm takes his son down memory lane, telling him of their family history, which stars mainly both of them, highlighting the good and bad times they spent together, which stemmed from Brian being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
All this begins with an email from Norm, where he writes to Brian, and it is seen that he has been diagnosed with cancer at sixty-four. He then decides to take it upon himself to go down memory lane with Brian, reflecting and reminiscing about his relationship with his son, first to show him that the things he thinks about him are wrong as per the way he reacted to the news of him being diagnosed with cancer and having only a few months to live, and secondly to bring them closer to enjoy his last months alive.
I loved so many things about this book. The author did a great job with the storytelling and the manner in which it was told. First, I loved how the stories were told through e-mails; it added life to the story and made it feel so real. I initially thought it was a non-fictional book; that’s how realistic it was. While reading the book, I was always looking forward to Brian’s reply at the end of the chapter to see his reactions towards the old memories rekindled and the new ones shared. I also loved how the author enlightened us a bit about Asperger’s syndrome and what it may look like dealing with someone of that nature; it gave me an understanding of it to some extent. I also loved how the author was able to communicate the emotions of the characters through words.
Reading the book was like going on an emotional rollercoaster; I was happy when the characters were happy and tossed into a deep state of sadness when they were sad. It takes a lot of effort to communicate the emotions of characters in a book in a way that readers can feel these emotions. I admire authors who can achieve this. Lastly, I loved how the author portrayed the unconditional love of a father. In the world today, we don’t see enough examples of the unconditional love of a father as opposed to that of a mother. This made this book somewhat like a breath of fresh air; the father-son love was enthralling.
The only issue I had with this book were the errors, which were mostly punctuation errors that had to do with the insertion of quotation marks. Save for this, it was an interesting book and a refreshing read. I did not identify any other issues with this book.
I would rate this book four out of five stars, and this is because I enjoyed every moment, page, and chapter of this book and would love for other readers to share in the thrill that comes from reading the book. Also, because I believe that this work of art deserves nothing less, as the book was superb except for the fact that it was not professionally edited, which led me to deduct a star. I recommend this book for readers interested in books about families, family relationships, and the unconditional love that comes with them. Readers curious about Asperger’s syndrome should also have a look at this book.
Brian and Me
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