A Beautiful and Emotional Family Drama

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We Are the Brennans is a strong debut novel by Tracey Lange that explores family drama and relationships. It follows main character, Sunday Brennan, as she moves back home after abruptly leaving her family, her life, and her fiance five years earlier. What follows is dramatic, heartbreaking, and heartwarming as the family breaks down secrets, lies, and misconceptions and strives to rebuild those relationships that were severed 5 years prior.

I loved this novel! The characters and their relationships were beautifully written. They were flawed and they made flawed choices, but I think that just made them even richer and more endearing. Lange provided great context and backstory for the characters that enables the reader to understand these characters and understand why they have made the decisions they made. The characters are at the heart of this novel and Lange did a great job making them come alive.

The relationships and the emotions behind them were beautiful and well-written. I teared up at points because I could see reflections of my relationship with my family and specifically my brothers in these characters. That presence of unconditional love and support, even during trying times and when one may not be acting as their best self, is a treasure, and Lange did a profoundly emotional job of portraying that. It resonated well and is a big part of what attached me to this book.

Lastly, I loved the author's choice to start a new chapter with the sentence spoken last in the previous chapter. It was a clever choice and made the novel flow seamlessly through multiple character's points-of-views. Speaking of multiple POVs, I think that was also well-crafted, as it took characters who weren't really likeable, and helped give the reader some sympathy and understanding. Overall, really well done. An easy 5 stars for me and likely to be a top read of 2021 for me.