Family is the one thing that drives people apart, and then brings them back together again. The Burgess Boys follows one family through the ups and downs of life, and readers get to see whether the trials of this family will perpetuate their differences, or bring them together for the sake of their family.
Siblings Susan, Jim, and Bob Burgess grew up in Shirley Falls, Maine, and have spent their childhood trying to heal from the scars of having their father tragically taken from them in an unexpected accident. Jim works hard to outgrow his small town, becoming a successful lawyer who escapes to New York City to live and work among the ultra-professional movers and shakers. He is among the top of the corporate world, and often belittles his brother Bob, who also moved to New York, but helps the needy in his legal aid position. Only Susan stayed in their small hometown to raise her own family, regretting the distance that has developed among the siblings since growing up and going their separate ways.
This all changes when Susan's teenage son takes a prank too far and finds himself in legal trouble. Susan swallows her pride and asks her brothers for help. Who will return to Shirley Falls to support the family? The hotshot corporate lawyer or the tender-hearted brother who buries himself in the legal troubles of others? The incident draws the entire family back together, but being together doesn't mean they are unified. Old hurts and current offenses must be worked through if the family is going to work together in this trial. Will the bonds of family and love be enough to overcome the issues?
Author Elizabeth Strout splits her time between New York City and Maine, the two places that inspire her to write the most. Her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, received a great deal of attention, and was eventually made into a television movie by Harpo Studios. In 2009 Strout published Olive Kitteridge, a collection of short stories. The collection earned Strout a Pulitzer Prize.
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art. Download and start listening now!