Book Review: Blood Brothers
By: Josephine Cox
Page Count: 408
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: August 2011 (Paperback Edition)
Source: Provided by Publisher
Blood Brothers is a modernized Cain and Able tale in which two brothers in 1950's England are vying for the attention of the same woman, the young and beautiful Alice Jacobs. Written in haunting prose, Blood Brothers seeped into my veins creating a chill that I couldn't shake. The story lived within my head even when the book was not open and I couldn't help but experience the terror along with Alice.
Josephine Cox takes the old story of a forbidden love affair and turns it on its head throwing in family secrets and violence hidden behind handsome features. Joe, the younger brother, can't hide his feelings for Alice - even though she's engaged to his older brother, Frank. As passions ignite and logic is forgotten, Joe and Alice give into their hearts. They could never have guessed the tragedy that would follow because of their one night together. Once Frank learns of the betrayal, he spirals out of control leaving a wake of violence and hate.
Reading this book was an emotional roller coaster for me. I felt the anxiety and fear that all of the characters felt - especially when Frank heads into the fields after he learns about Joe and Alice. Cox has written this story in such a way that you have to know what happens next. There are moments that are so painful you want to look away, but you can't because you are so mesmerized by this plot. My heart broke for Alice and Joe. I hated how the blame for everything was placed at Alice's feet when she was the one who was perhaps hurt the most. Nobody should ever be treated the way Frank treats her. Reading the moments of violence was extremely difficult for me and may be too much for some readers. I can't imagine an evil like that lurking in someone. It's terrifying to even fathom.
My main issue with this book was I hated how many of the characters talked to themselves out loud. So many issues could have been avoided if they had learned the inner monologue trick. Frank flew off the handle countless times for things he overheard. I also didn't like that the book shifted between characters and plot points so frequently. There were moments when I had to reread in order to ground myself in what was happening at that moment because it didn't flow with the previous section.
Cox is an exceptional writer who crafts a story that will linger with you. The battle between revenge and love is one that makes a thrillingly good read. The English setting was also interesting; be prepared to learn lots of new words if you aren't familiar with the jargon.
One Last Gripe: I was really upset by the way Tom treated Alice. She was not the only one who made mistakes. I didn't like how he placed the blame on her when his sons were much more at fault.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The sense of danger that lurks in every chapter compelling you to read on
First Sentence: Gently cradling the injured bird, he stood on the high ground, his quiet gaze drawn to the field below.
Favorite Character: Alice
Least Favorite Character: Maureen
Alice Jacobs has finally found the family she always wanted...Alice Jacobs has finally found the family she always wanted...The Arnold family have worked the farmland for as far back as they can remember. Well-respected and comfortable in their small, close community, it seems nothing could upset their quiet everyday routine.Then Ellie enters their lives...With her shy smile and kind nature, she fits into the family easily. When Nancy Arnold's eldest son Frank begins to show an interest in the new arrival, she believes that at long last he has found a woman to share his life with.But tensions begin to rise between Frank and his brother, and while Nancy puts it down to sibling rivalry, her husband senses a more dangerous undercurrent. Something has deeply unsettled their peaceful world and Ellie is also affected.Someone is playing a game, a tragic game that will tear apart not only Nancy Arnold's family but the lives of others too...