Saturday, November 04, 2006

REQUIEM FOR MY BROTHER by Marian Botsford Fraser (2006)

When I saw this title listed in a summer edition of Quill and Quire as forthcoming, I special ordered a copy--having met Marian through PEN Canada work and having buried my only brother.

I had no idea that there would be such haunting similarities in our stories: the eldest of three children; raised in small-town Ontario; a younger brother named David who loved the north--its landscape, its rhythms; a family code in which "I love you" was understood but never said face to face.

Fraser's spare prose hits the mark. As Nino Ricci notes, it is "uncompromising and deeply affecting...a meditation...on how much of even those we are closest to remains unknown."

We are still, David, Denise and I, just the three of us.

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