Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
A powerful tale of a family reeling from the tragic loss of a son, while facing a mysterious murder on their doorstep–told by one of Canada’s most beloved voices.
After being uprooted from their fishing outport, the Now family is further devastated by the tragic loss of their eldest son, Chris, who died working on an Alberta oil rig. Kyle Now is still mourning his older brother when the murder of a local bully changes everything. The victim’s blood is found on the family’s pier, and suspicion falls first on an alienated wife, and then finally on the troubled Now family.
But behind this new turmoil, Chris’s death continues to plague the family. Father Sylvanus Now drowns his sorrow in a bottle, while mother Addie is facing breast cancer. And the children fight their own battles as the tension persists between Kyle and his sister, Sylvie, over her role in their brother’s death.
A cast of vivid characters surrounds the Now family, some intriguing, others comical–all masterfully crafted. As the murder mystery unfolds, other deeper secrets are revealed. Wise in the ways of the heart, The Fortunate Brother is a moving family drama from beloved storyteller Donna Morrissey.”
When I began reading this book, I did not realize that it was the third book in the series. I get the sense that my feelings toward it might be different if I were aware of the back story. The book begins by describing the Trapp family, a wild clan whose behavior was so egragious that locals had run them out of town. I figured the book would center around “the youngest Trapp,” the only member of the clan remaining in their small, Canadian town. After the first chapter, however, the book took a turn away from the established story line, and the Trapps became secondary characters throughout most of the remainder of the book.
There is a lot of reminiscing throughout the story that I assume reference the previous two books. Without that backstory, however, I found myself getting lost….a lot. In fact, I have picked this book up and set it down about five times since the beginning of the year, finding it hard to connect enough to the characters to continue. I never did relate enough to any one character to really care what happened to them. In addition, while the main character, Kyle, only went a handful of places throughout the book, I was constantly lost at where he was currently located. He was at the bar…then suddenly he’s at Kate’s house. How did that happen? He was on a mission to find a woman he believed might be in trouble, searching through a wooded area….and suddenly he’s at a bar drinking? What happened to his resolve to find the woman? I found the disjointed sequence of events very frustrating.
Overall, “The Fortunate Brother” was not one of my favorite reads. I do believe I would have connected more with the characters had I read the first two books in the series, but even then I would still have a problem with the story jumping around. Overall, I rate this book 2/5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Donna Morrissey, and Canongate for providing me with an advanced reader’s edition of this book.