I’d not read any previous stories by Donna Morrissey so was looking forward to reading this book. The Fortunate Brother is the story of the Now family who live in an outport in Newfoundland. I had to check on the word “outport” however I quickly discovered that it refers to a small fishing village usually in Newfoundland. Kyle and his family, immediate and extended, come over as very ordinary in the nicest sense of the word. The family has seen tragedy though and this leaves a shadow over them. The death of someone not generally liked in the outport makes for the main part of this story although there are other minor tales interwoven with that.
From the start I found the writing wonderfully descriptive. I thought it caught a mood or a feel for place and time very well. The more I read the more compelling the story telling became. I quickly found myself completely immersed in the story of everyday lives, likes, loves and hates in a small town environment.
At times this tale is tender and emotional, at times wryly humourous, at times macho and blokey. It is always very human and accessible. As someone from the other side of the pond I did find some of the colloquial writing – both words and style – took a little getting used to. However while the story here is quite simple, the telling is not and makes for a great read. I confess at times I did wonder just how fortunate the “fortunate brother” really was but I really liked the character of Kyle. I’d like to read more of Donna Morrisey’s work based on this although I did find the end didn’t quite live up to the standard of the rest of the book.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review