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Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith
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Whiskey and Charlie

by Annabel Smith

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I didn't know what to expect from this book, I read the back of it and it sounded good. I didn't know until I started it that it begins in England and the majority of it takes place in Australia, which actually worked better for Kelly as it served as less of a distraction from the story. The book is about a pair of identical twins who are now in their adult years and haven't really spoken to each other for years. One of them Whiskey, is successful, smart, and everything seems to easily go his way. The other twin Charlie, has to struggle to make anything happen. But is this really the case? When Whiskey is in a horrible accident it is time for Charlie to start to finally grow up, and analyze, his faults, and failings and how it set up the discord between his brother and himself.
I so wanted to give this 5 stars- it is really 4.5, but Charlie's is written as such an asshole for so much of the book, that it was too hard to think he could redeem himself.
This however is an excellent book, about family, and regrets and how little things can destroy a family. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 1, 2017 |
3.5 stars

I’m a huge fan of stories that revolve around dysfunctional families and I enjoyed Smith’s treatment of the often-difficult sibling relationship. Twins Charlie and William (Whiskey) were close as children but grew apart when jealousy and bitterness took root in Charlie as he lived in the shadow of his more outgoing, flamboyant brother. The twins are in their 30s when Whiskey is left in a coma following an accident. Faced with the prospect of never being able to speak to his brother again, Charlie ponders their lives and examines his relationship with his brother. As he does so, Charlie has some hard truths to face.The narrative switches between past and present in chapters based on the phonetic alphabet, the code Charlie and Whiskey used as children when they spoke on their walkie-talkies (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc….). We, of course, don’t hear the story from Whiskey’s perspective and I suspect that Charlie, a rather unlikable guy, may not be the most reliable of narrators. I would have liked to see a few stories highlighting some of the good times and the closeness he and his brother once shared.

The author also deftly handles the emotional turmoil and stages of grief a family endures when a loved one is in a coma, perhaps never to awaken. However, chapters that revolved around the phonetic alphabet felt gimmicky, and events sometimes turned a tad too soap-operish for my taste.

The themes of sibling rivalry, guilt, regret, forgiveness and redemption would make this an excellent book club choice, with much to discuss.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Relationships can be complicated, especially when it comes to family. Whiskey and Charlie are brothers, identical twins, from the outside you can’t tell them apart, but inside each is unique. As Charlie and Whiskey grow, the gap widens and the special connection that all twins share is weaken and strained to the breaking point. When Whiskey is in a serious accident and goes into a coma, Charlie is forced to examine his feelings and priorities. The author does an excellent job of exposing the raw emotions coursing through Charlie as he contemplates his twin brother’s options and possibly a life without him. This is a beautiful, poignant love story; perfect for book clubs.

Review previously posted at: www.princetonbookreview.com

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http://www.princetonbookreview.com/book_pages/discussion/whiskey-and-charlie.php ( )
  Princetonbookreview | Jan 3, 2017 |
I won this book from Bookreporter. When it first arrived, I read the back cover to remind myself of what the book was going to be about and then opened it right up. The minute I saw the table of contents was the "two-way alphabet", I knew I was going to enjoy it. So creative!! And then the ability to weave the story around the alphabet so smoothly was simply amazing. It always fit yet never felt forced. The storyline itself had potential to become sappy on a few occasions but I never felt that it did. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending - in some ways I feel like everything was resolved too neatly yet, it's the outcome I wanted so how can I complain.
( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
I LOVED this book! I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. For the love of siblings! ( )
  pennylane78 | Jun 6, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 149260786X, Paperback)

"A sharp, perceptive novel about family and forgiveness, Whiskey & Charlie will stay with me for a very long time." Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

A captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

Whiskey and Charlie might have come from the same family, but they'd tell you two completely different stories about growing up. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not – bold, daring, carefree – and Charlie blames his twin brother for always stealing the limelight, always getting everything, always pushing Charlie back. By the time the twins reach adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other.

When they were just boys, the secret language they whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies connected them, in a way. The two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) became their code, their lifeline. But as the brothers grew up, they grew apart.

When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and has slipped into a coma, Charlie can't make sense of it. Who is he without Whiskey? As days and weeks slip by and the chances of Whiskey recovering grow ever more slim, Charlie is forced to consider that he may never get to say all the things he wants to say. A compelling and unforgettable novel about rivalry and redemption, Whiskey & Charlie is perfect for anyone whose family has ever been less than picture-perfect.

"A finely crafted novel that keeps us reading because we care about the characters. It's a terrific book."—Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:16 -0400)

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