** The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout


The Burgess Boys is the story of three siblings, two of them men, and their hapless nephew (the sister’s son), who dumbly but without malice throws a pig’s head into a mosque and unleashes turmoil in the Maine town where he lives and where the siblings grew up, and the threat of grave punishment. The two brothers, both lawyers, one successful and the other much less so, come to his aid and it goes downhill from there. Finely observed characters (most spectacularly so the successful brother’s wife) but the unraveling seems rather far-fetched.

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