Year 4, Book 6

6. Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found by Marie Brenner
This book was a memoir of sorts. Based on the title and some vague commentary throughout the book I’m guessing what it was supposed to be about was the relationship between the author and her brother. It wasn’t really. Yes they both appeared in the book and their somewhat peculiar relationship both strained and cold yet oddly close in that they were in constant contact was referred to, but I really never got a real sense of their relationship. I didn’t necessarily feel like it was the focus of the book either. In addition to talk of their relationship there were also references to other various family members both immediate and distant. I had a hard time keeping track of who they all were or why I should care. Even the author seemed to feel this way as for most of these people she kept emphasizing their kind of B-class fame like hanging out with Frida Kahlo and such. I guess if they are kind of historical pseudo-celebrities I’m supposed to care. Also it really bugged me that from the beginning of the book you know that the brother is ill with some sort of disease but the author refuses to name what it is until about halfway through the book. There are many references to illness and treatment prior to that and I found it more than a bit ridiculous that she seemed intent on not revealing what it was, particularly after you find out that it’s just a form of cancer. Nothing exotic and nothing worth hiding. I give this book a 2 out of 10.

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