USA Janis Owens My Brother Michael

ISBN 13: 9781561641246

My Brother Michael

4.15 avg rating
( 127 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781561641246: My Brother Michael

Winner of the Chatauqua South Award for Fiction

Out of the shotgun houses and deep, shaded porches of a west Florida mill town comes this extraordinary novel of love and redemption as told by Gabriel Catts. On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Gabe attempts to reconcile a family shattered by his betrayal of his older brother, Michael. As Gabe contends with a host of personal demons, he recounts his lifelong love for his brother’s wife, Myra, whose own demons threaten to overwhelm all three of them. Circumstance and passion push them beyond the moral boundaries of their close-knit community in this intimate view of a Southern family.

The story told in My Brother Michael is retold in Myra Sims, Janis Owens' second novel, from Myra's point of view

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About the Author:

Janis Owens was born in Marianna, a small town in the Florida Panhandle. Her father was a preacher and insurance salesman who moved his family to Mississippi and Louisiana before settling back in north Florida. She earned a degree in English and Southern History from the University of Florida. She is also the author of Myra Sims, the companion to My Brother Michael.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A luminously written first novel that celebrates--not always convincingly--a surviving sibling's redemption and gratitude. When younger brother Gabe Catts comes home to north Florida for his brother Michael's funeral, he's been drinking, and he soon flees the family and heads back to New York, where he teaches college. Gabe is overcome by more than conventional grief, it seems, and the story he tells is as much a journey of self- discovery as of brotherly love and destructive jealousy. It begins in the small neighborhood of Magnolia Hill, where Gabe grew up and where his mother still lives. His father was a millworker. He had two siblings, a sister, Candace, and then Michael, named (like Gabe) after an angel. Next door, in a tumbledown house, lived the Sims--a mother and father with two children, Ira and Myra. Gabe falls in love with Myra. But the Simses are different: Dad beats up Ira and sexually abuses Myra, and when Dad is arrested, the family moves away. Meanwhile, Michael, a promising baseball player, turns down offers and stays home to help his parents, and Gabe, who's never forgotten Myra, goes on to college and graduate school. Myra comes back to Magnolia Hill and soon marries Michael, a union that the self-absorbed Gabe finds tough to accept. He flees north, combining a successful academic career with bouts of heavy, near- suicidal, drinking. Having taken time off to write a book, he returns home once more, seduces and impregnates Myra, by now being treated for schizophrenia, then flees when his betrayal is discovered. Ten years later, dying from cancer, Michael asks Gabe to look after his family. He also leaves him a lot of money, and with some bumps along the way, Gabe finds both happiness and his soul, just as his brother had hoped. A bit too schematic, but a refreshingly different take on fraternal rivalry. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Owens, Janis
Published by Pineapple Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 1561641243 ISBN 13: 9781561641246
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