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Mandafofanda Reads Lots

The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?

And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?

- Yann Martel, Life of Pi

The Things a Brother Knows - Dana Reinhardt This is a story about brothers. It's the story of a younger brother who sees the drastic and tragic change in his older brother once he comes home from war, and wants to bring him back to being the person he knows. It's about families and being second-generation immigrants. It's about best friends who will drive for several hours just to say happy birthday before having to head back for work. It's about the fumbling awkwardness of liking someone that seems to like you back. It's about trying to figure out the mysteries of a sibling's mind.

I really, really loved this book. There's such an honesty to Levi's voice, and a truth and reality to the characters. Levi is your average passive teenage boy, until he decides to take it upon himself to follow his brother on his cross-country trek so that he can understand his change. Reinhardt creates a heartbreaking portrait of PTSD and a beautiful portrayal of brotherly love.

I think that I connected to this book on a personal level because I am that less-talkative and reserved older sister to one five years younger, and sometimes I wonder if I can come across this way to her. But just as in this story, even though Boaz keeps things close to the chest and can be cruel, odd, unaffectionate and abrupt, there will always be that love that bonds them, and I hope that my own little sister knows that as well.