An unforgettable saga of love, loss, and exhilarating change spanning half a century in the lives of a restless family.
The O'Briens is a family story unlike any you have read, a tale that pours straight from the heart of a splendid, tragic, ambitious clan. In Joe O'Brien - backwoods boy, railroad magnate, patriarch, brooding soul - Peter Behrens gives us a fiercely compelling character who exchanges isolation and poverty in the Canadian wilds for a share in the dazzling possibilities and consuming sorrows of the twentieth century.
When Joe meets Iseult Wilkins in Venice-by-the-Sea, California, the story of their courtship - told in Behrens's gorgeous, honed style - becomes the first movement in a symphony of the generations. The O'Briens is the story of a marriage and a family moving through history - from the first flying machines, through two world wars, to the election of JFK - told with epic precision and wondrous imagination.
"Starred Review. Moments of grace and romance are rocked by cruel words and violence in this epic, a piece of rough beauty itself." - Publishers Weekly
"Illuminating.... An epic along the lines of Middlesex in the way it follows a family through time and examines the results of their actions.... A brooding novel, engrossing in its scope and detail, The O'Briens keeps sight of the family's personal stories amid the larger history of much of the twentieth century." - Booklist
"Behrens's characters are engaging and the history of the various cities, budding industries, and wars expertly handled." - Library Journal
"Peter Behrens's family saga The O'Briens (Pantheon) spans the first half of the Canadian twentieth century, finding a parallel epic in an unforgettable narrative of marriage." - Vogue.com
"Impressive in its scope and ambitious in its goals. Some of [the] descriptions are flat-out jaw-dropping... In giving his family a past few of them knew existed, Behrens has made The O'Briens unforgettably alive." - Globe and Mail (UK)
"A distinctly twentieth-century family epic... Pitch-perfect." - National Post (Canada)
"Having read both Buddenbrooks and The O'Briens this summer, I can affirm they are definitely in the same league - great, juicy tales that will make you take a second look at annoying relatives. They are, after all, part of the big picture, otherwise known as history and destiny." - The Gazette (Montreal)
The information about The O'Briens shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Peter Behrens continues the family saga he started with The Law of Dreams, the tale of Fergus O'Brien, who fled the Irish potato famine and came to Montreal in the 1840s. Find him online at www.peterbehrens.org.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.