The Half Brother

The Half Brother

by Holly LeCraw

Overview: When Charlie Garrett arrives as a young teacher at the shabby-yet-genteel Abbott School, he finds a world steeped in privilege and tradition. Fresh out of college and barely older than the students he teaches, Charlie longs to leave his complicated southern childhood behind and find his place in the rarefied world of Abbottsford. Before long he is drawn to May Bankhead, the daughter of the legendary school chaplain; but when he discovers he cannot be with her, he forces himself to break her heart, and she leaves Abbott—he believes forever. He hunkers down in his house in the foothills of Massachusetts, thinking his sacrifice has contained the damage and controlled their fates. But nearly a decade later, his peace is shattered when his golden-boy half brother, Nick, comes to Abbott to teach—and May returns as a teacher as well. Students and teachers alike are drawn by Nick’s magnetism, and even May falls under his spell. When Charlie pushes his brother and his first love together, with what he believes are the best of intentions, a love triangle ensues that is haunted by desire, regret, and a long-buried mystery. With wisdom and emotional generosity, LeCraw takes us through a year that transforms both the teachers and students of Abbott forever. Page-turning, lyrical, and ambitious, The Half Brother is a powerful examination of family, loyalty, and love.

Judy Stanton (07/07/15): A very well written novel with flushed out characters, The Half Brother is the story of a young man from Atlanta who goes to Harvard and ends up staying in the north to teach at a private school. The reader gets to know Charlie Garret, learn about his relationship with his mother before and after her second marriage and birth of his half-brother Nick, the child who always excels in everything. Charlie ultimately falls for the chaplain's daughter, and the ups and downs of their relationship, initially and after Nick comes to teach at the school, make the book an interesting take on family, secrets, and life. An enjoyable read, calling you back to find out what happens in the end
Rating: ****

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