Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own
In this heartfelt journey, families contain all of it. There’s simply no tidy, predictable emotional or dynamic boundary to draw around these most primal of human units. Even those who don’t know their biological families have collective relationships that daily test their autonomy, individuality, self-worth and dreams. Cummings, who’s spent more than three decades writing about human beings, mainly of the everyday American persuasion, excels in uncovering those beneath-the-skin familial stories that realistically probe uncomfortable, often invisible, areas of life. When families and their perceptions of mental illness collide, as happens with such gritty persistence in Don't Forget Me, Bro all the discomfort of relationships, normal and otherwise, comes to the fore.
I loved this book. The author takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. We get a look at a dysfunctional family and the damages done through abuse. We also look at a family dealing with mental illness. The tension the author was able to write into this book made it so real. I felt at times as if I was in the room with Mark. I almost could not breath. This is a story of a dysfunctional family that is dealing with grief and life to the best of their ability. If nothing else this book made me take a look at my own family, a coloer look. I believe after reading this book that all families are dysfunctional in some ways, yet we are all still family. I will definitely recommend this book.
About the Author:
John Michael Cummings’ short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, and The Iowa Review. Twice he has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. His short story “The Scratchboard Project” received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007. His novella The House of My Father, from which his debut novel was adapted, was a finalist in the 2006 Miami University Novella Contest.
The Night I Freed John Brown is Mr. Cummings’ powerful first novel for young readers. A native of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, he draws on his own experiences growing up in this intriguing historic town.
John Michael Cummings lives in Orlando with his cat, Sentry