Holly LeCraw’s ‘The Half Brother’ Is Flat And Unimaginative

Holly LeCraw

Holly LeCraw (Photo courtesy Doubleday)

How would you handle a love triangle that involved a half sibling? In Holly LeCraw’s latest novel, The Half Brother, she examines the multilayered emotions and undercurrents that bubble to the surface.

Charlie Garrett, an English teacher at St. Anne’s, comes to vivid life through Holly LeCraw‘s wonderful descriptions, and the author paints a gorgeous picture of the historic home Garrett inhabits. Still, the writer’s eye for detail isn’t enough to salvage LeCraw’s sophomore effort.

Holly LeCraw's The Half Brother


None of the characters felt real to me, nor were they interesting. I found them one-dimensional, self-absorbed and so dysfunctional that I lost any hope of them moving towards normalcy.

I found the story neither engaging nor interesting. And although a novel about the damaging effects of sibling rivalry is a theme that frequently carries potential, in my opinion, LeCraw’s book could have been equally effective in less than 50 pages.

Finally, LeCraw lives near Boston and places The Half Brother in Abbottsford, Mass. Yet even these facts aren’t sufficient reasons for me to recommend this title to all the people who frequently ask me to recommend local authors.

The Half Brother could have been a potboiler that earned LeCraw lots of new fans. In the end, however, it’s just another title that never heats up and was served lukewarm at best.

However, I do have to give credit to the person who wrote the synopsis on the dust jacket. He or she did their job because I was intrigued enough to read the novel, even if I was thoroughly disappointed in the execution of it.

By Holly LeCraw
288 pps. Doubleday. $25.95

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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