Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Burgess Boys: A Novel by Elizabeth…

The Burgess Boys: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Elizabeth Strout

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5421694,760 (3.72)216
Title:The Burgess Boys: A Novel
Authors:Elizabeth Strout
Info:Random House (2013), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:LT Early Reviewers

Work details

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Recently added byprivate library, kathiallen, MaryKay1822, caro-cat, bah195, Leigh0906, pamela123237
  1. 00
    Run by Ann Patchett (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A dramatic incident provokes adult siblings to explore their lives and relationships in these moving and lyrical novels. While more about family than race, both books include thought-provoking meditations on the complexity of racial relations in 21st century America.… (more)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 216 mentions

English (172)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All (174)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
Interesting book about dysfunctional, mean to each other siblings. About how family secrets can define and change your life and the lives of those around you. Kind of dull in places, but got better as the story went on. ( )
  sarahjvigen | Mar 23, 2017 |
Reading an Elizabeth Strout book reminds me of an often quoted saying: "Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle". I have a weakness for books dealing with dysfuctional families and no one does dysfunction as well as Strout. The book is worth reading for the prose alone.

I don't need to like or relate to the characters in a book to enjoy the story and appreciate the nuances, but the characters have to show change and growth. Strout's characters do just that. She excels at creating complicated, rather unlikable characters that while you may not grow to like by the end, but you begin to understand what makes them tick.

The Burgess boys, polar opposites, and profoundly affected by a traumatic event in their childhood, return to their hometown in Maine to deal with a crisis involving their sister Susan's teen-age son. Family secrets and troubled sibling relationships are revealed while the story deals with a myriad of sub-plots, including the assimilation of Somali immigrants, prejudice, guilt, and forgiveness. But at its core, The Burgess Boys is about family, flaws and all. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Anybody else and I would have given this four stars. But it's not anybody else, it's Elizabeth Strout. First 3/4 is defintely a 5 but it tails off at the end into a lot of tidying up and some of the main elements of the story arc get short shrift such as the dissolution of the main characters' marriage but perhaps she thought she covered all of that in Olive Kittredge? Just didn't feel right.

Otherwise, a masterful storyteller still at the top of her craft. And what could be better as dual settings than Maine and Manhattan? ( )
  TimDel | Feb 2, 2017 |
I was fortunate to receive this book as an early release from Random House and am very glad I did. This is the 2nd book of Ms. Stout's that I have read and have not been disappointed. She tells great stories. I wasn't fond of the ending because there were some issues left unanswered. Granted, if you go back and re-read the Prologe, you will get one answer. ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
To be accurate 3.5 stars would have done it for me.

I will read anything by Elizabeth Strout and still think Isabelle and Amy is one of life's perfect novels. As marvelous as all her work is, nothing ever quite lived up to that first book. I think she writes with tremendous empathy about family and place and the impact of our childhoods on the adults we become.

The Burgess Boys - which is about two adult brother's called home to Maine when their nephew gets into serious legal trouble - has a broader palette than previous books - New York as well as Maine and a Somali character - but it also seems slightly unfocused and a little bit formulaic. It also lacked the subtlety of Olive Kittridge.

This is not to say that it's a bad book in any way, shape or form, and not quite up-to-scratch Strout is light years better than most books. Just not quite as good as I hoped. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my husband

Jim Tierney
First words
My mother and I talked a lot about the Burgess Family. "The Burgess kids," she called them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haunted by a 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 possible could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a legal aid attorney who idolises Jim, has always taken it in his stride.

But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan - the sibling who stayed behind - urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has landed 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.
Haiku summary
Did Bob kill father?
Did Zach act out a hate crime?
And what about Jim?

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Catalyzed by a nephew's thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys, a loss linked to a heartbreaking deception that shaped their personal and professional lives.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
294 wanted3 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.72)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 2
2 31
2.5 8
3 114
3.5 69
4 204
4.5 45
5 78


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,771,038 books! | Top bar: Always visible