Tracey Lange’s debut novel centers on an Irish Catholic family in New York with lots of secrets to hide, and that makes for a perfect afternoon of reading!
Sunday Brennan, the only girl in a family of sons, left home five years ago for Los Angeles on the pretext of a job offer to write web content. Leaving involved more than her family. It meant that she walked away without a word to her fiancé. In reality, she was hiding from her deepest secret and trying to overcome it.
Life hasn’t quite worked out for her. She’s basically estranged from her family and drinks too much. After a serious car accident that left her with a broken bone and bumps and really awful bruising, her older brother, Denny, talks her into coming back home to heal. Sunday feels she has no choice and flies back to New York with Denny.
Denny has his own set of problems. He and his best friend, Kale (who is also Sunday’s ex-fiancé) own a pub. They are trying to expand, but things at the new location are not going smoothly. Denny has taken out a mortgage on his family home, unbeknownst to his father, and borrowed money from a very shady character from their past. Denny’s separated from his wife and child, while Kale is also facing difficulties at home.
Navigating the past, each other and the present are at the heart of this family drama, along with the secrets they share.
Told in multiple points of view (there are at least six) I felt this gave the story a completeness that could not have come from a single narrator---readers get multiple sides of the story. Author Lange does a wonderful job in keeping the voices varied and it’s easy to know who is narrating each section.
“We are the Brennans,” receives 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.