BROTHER OF MINE by Chris Westwood


Age Range: 12 - 16
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 The atmosphere of Westwood's horror novels (e.g., He Came From the Shadows, 1991) infuses this nasty but muddled take on a classic premise: twins pursuing the same woman. Nick and Tony Lloyd describe events in alternating chapters. Nick meets Alex at a party; later, when she runs into Tony and mistakes his identity, he goes along since he's on the outs with his girlfriend Vicky. The mutually antipathetic twins see themselves as victims of misunderstanding and harassment, but when Nick kisses Vicky in front of everyone or Tony brings Alex to Nick's track meet their earnest protestations of innocence are not convincing. And though the author gives the two different personalities, they sound so much alike that readers will need to check chapter heads to be sure who's talking. The outcome is hopelessly contrived--enraged after the meet, Nick locks Tony in the cellar of an empty house for days, remorsefully releases him, then is hit by a car; reconciliation ensues in the hospital. Compared to the conflict in Paterson's Jacob Have I Loved (1980), the twins' relationship here is more confusing than complex; at least, by the end, they're less at odds. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 18th, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-66137-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1994


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