I received a complimentary copy of WE ARE THE BRENNANS by Tracey Lange. Thank you to Celadon Books!
Publication Date: 8/3/2021
Rating: 4.5 / 5
WE ARE THE BRENNANS begins with Sunday, the sole daughter of the Irish Brennan family. She is living in Los Angeles when she makes a very bad decision and gets behind the wheel of her car after far too many drinks. She wakes up in the hospital hurt but alive. Her brother Danny is her emergency contact and he shows up as he always does as the eldest brother. He manages to convince her to return with him to New York at least while she recovers and sorts out her legal trouble.
Things are complicated back home. Danny’s business partner is Kale, the ex Sunday left behind when she moved to California but is still hung up on, though he’s now married with a son. Danny’s wife and daughter are living apart from him and he’s dealing with challenge after challenge with the Irish bar they run. The other two Brennan brothers are also living at home and their father is dealing with early dementia.
There is a lot going on in this relatively short book, but I think the author did a fantastic job of balancing it all out. We get shifting POVs between the Brennans and Kale with each chapter picking up exactly where the last ended which was fun to follow. I was initially unsure if I was in the mood for an ‘adults behaving badly’ type book starting off with Sunday’s accident, but I was quickly hooked to figure out why Sunday left and what exactly went on in this family past and present.
I loved how close the Brennan family was even as they made mistakes. They got mad and weren’t shy at calling each other out, but they also stood up for each other when it was needed. Kale’s inclusion in the family even with the tension that exists between his wife, himself and his ex was heartwarming as well. This made for an excellent combination of blood and found family.
I loved how the family embraced the youngest Shane and his developmental disability. The mother (who passed away prior to the book’s start) wasn’t very accepting, but each of the siblings embraced him and supported his living his best life. I thought the author did a good job of highlighting his strengths as well.
If you enjoy reading a family drama with characters who will draw you in, I would highly recommend WE ARE THE BRENNANS – out 8/3/2021!