Brother helps to open reader’s eyes to the grit, tenacity and struggle of growing up in the housing projects of Scarborough. It describes the challenges of a single mother, raising two boys between the cultures of Trinidad and Scarborough. The characters, the setting and the story seem true to life and the reader is left thinking about the disparity and despair of this family even after closing the book.
The mother works hard to support her kids. Dad has abandoned them and she works long hours to feed and care for the boys who are often left to their own devices. They experience violence and racism in their neighbourhood and at times escape to the calm, tranquility of the Rouge Valley which is near their complex.
Michael looks up to his brother David who is interested in music and starts hanging with the wrong crowd. Their lives are dramatically changed in one violent night, with one single gunshot.
The story is chilling and the characters and scene seem so realistic. The description feels accurate and the reader keeps hoping that the boys will grow up safely in the care of their hardworking mother.
David Chariandy is visiting a library in London (Ontario) for One Book One London and I am looking forward to meeting him.