Book Group will meet on Thursday, November 19, at 7:30 a.m., and Friday, November 20, at noon, to discuss The Burgess Boys: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Strout (Olive Kitteridge, 2008) delivers a tightly woven yet seemingly languorous portrayal of a family in longtime disarray. Brothers Jim and Bob Burgess, and sister Susan, are mired in a childhood trauma: when he was four, Bob unwittingly released the parking brake on the family car, which ran over their father and killed him. Originally from small Shirley Falls, Maine, the Burgess brothers have long since fled to vastly disparate lives as New York City attorneys. Egoistic Jim is a famous big shot with a corporate firm. Self-effacing Bob leads a more low-profile career with Legal Aid. High-strung Susan calls them home to fix a family crisis: her son stands accused of a possible hate crime against the small town’s improbable Somali population. The siblings’ varying responses to the crisis illuminate their sheer differences while also recalling their shared upbringing, forcing them finally to deal with their generally unmentioned, murky family history.
Boston Children’s Hospital personnel are encouraged to join us in the AV Room in the Library on Thursday, November 19, at 7:30 a.m., or Friday, November 20, at noon, to participate in discussion about this book. If you would like to be added to our Book Group email distribution list, please contact Jessica LaBrie or Meaghan Muir.