The Last Brother: Book summary and reviews of The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah

The Last Brother

A Novel

by Nathacha Appanah

The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah X
The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah
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  • Published Feb 2011
    208 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

As 1944 comes to a close, nine-year-old Raj is unaware of the war devastating the rest of the world. He lives in Mauritius, a remote island in the Indian Ocean, where survival is a daily struggle for his family. When a brutal beating lands Raj in the hospital of the prison camp where his father is a guard, he meets a mysterious boy his own age. David is a refugee, one of a group of Jewish exiles whose harrowing journey took them from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine, where they were refused entry and sent on to indefinite detainment in Mauritius.

A massive storm on the island leads to a breach of security at the camp, and David escapes, with Raj's help. After a few days spent hiding from Raj's cruel father, the two young boys flee into the forest. Danger, hunger, and malaria turn what at first seems like an adventure to Raj into an increasingly desperate mission.

This unforgettable and deeply moving novel sheds light on a fascinating and unexplored corner of World War II history, and establishes Nathacha Appanah as a significant international voice.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Appanah's descriptions are meticulous, and the heartbreakingly endearing Raj makes for an unforgettable protagonist." - Publishers Weekly

"Many readers will enjoy this lushly beautiful child's-eye tale of resistance to injustice simply as a universal fable of two boys thrown together in friendship and solidarity against a savage adult world. It also half-reveals an extraordinary episode from the Second World War, but through a lyrical mist that never clears away." - The Independent (UK)

"In this lyrical and quietly moving work ... [Appanah] offers a lovely little gem of a meditation on how humans can love and, inexplicably, hate." - Library Journal

"In poetic, occasionally rapturous prose, the novel extends beyond the Holocaust in its attempt to encompass the human condition." - Kirkus

“A disturbing and extraordinarily sensitive story around the tragic odyssey of Jewish refugees." - Le Monde (Paris)

This information about The Last Brother was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Nathacha Appanah Author Biography

Nathacha Appanah was born in Mahébourg, Mauritius. She is the author of Waiting for Tomorrow and the award-winning novel The Last Brother, which has been translated into sixteen languages. She works as a journalist and translator and lives in France.

Name Pronunciation
Nathacha Appanah: Natasha AH-pin-ah

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