Reviews for Burgess Boys : Library Edition


AudioFile Reviews 2013 April
An influx of Somali refugees in Shirley Falls, Maine, creates racial tension. Burgess's nephew, Zach, throws a bloody pig's head into a mosque. When Zach faces prosecution for a hate crime, New York City attorneys Jim and Bob Burgess are called home to help their sister's son. Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout's psychological insights into the Burgess siblings, the Somalis, and the townspeople acquire substance in Cassandra Campbell's artful delivery. Campbell's performance is a subtle revelation. Her Downeast accent never falls into the tempting trap of exaggeration, giving the salty flavor of Maine to local speakers, yet making one accent as different from another as class distinctions demand. Strout delves into family intricacies, tenuous connections, guilt, and unresolved childhood angers--and Campbell makes it all ring true. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Jim and Bob Burgess will always be known as "the Burgess Boys" in their childhood home of Shirley Falls, ME, where they return many years later to help their troubled nephew. He has committed a hate crime that shocks the family into focus. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, including that of concerned Bob; Jim's sophisticated wife, Helen; angry sister Susan; and contemplative Abdikarim Ahmed. Reader Cassandra Campbell does a fine job portraying the characters. Bob's voice has an uncertain quality, and his questioning inflections distinguish him from Helen's crispness, Jim's harsh staccatos, Susan's high, nasal sharpness, and Ahmed's thoughtfulness. Verdict Campbell's interpretation matches the relationships, symbolism, and themes of Strout's novel. Recommended. ["Pulitzer Prize winner Strout (Olive Kitteridge) takes the reader on a surprising journey of combative filial love and the healing powers of the truth," read the starred review of the New York Times best-selling Random hc, LJ 4/15/13.--Ed.]--Juleigh Muirhead Clark, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Lib., Colonial Williamsburg Fdn., VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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