Book Review: Three Weeks With My Brother
This isn’t supposed to be my first book review to be published in this blog because I have absolutely no idea how to write a proper review of sorts. However, I’ll just go ahead and do it. Bear with me as I pour my emotions into this post because at the very moment of this article’s writing, I’m still crying my eyes out. My head hurts with all the sobbing as I finished reading Three Weeks with My Brother seconds ago.
It’s a memoir of Nicholas and Micah Sparks as they travel the world in three weeks and contemplate on all the highs and lows that have happened in their lives. The book features two parallel stories, one about Micah and Nicholas’ travel around the globe- from Peru to the Cook Islands, India to Norway, going to Cambodia, Easter Island and a whole lot of other places they thought they would never be able to go to. The other story is a chronological account about their family’s life- from unforgettable childhood memories to coping up with teenage years, getting married then losing their mother, dealing with grief, then as you think the worst is over, they lose their father and then having their sister diagnosed with brain cancer.
Despite knowing the deaths to be expected in the book (as it was placed in the back cover), I still found myself sobbing real hard to their heart-breaking experiences.
Reading this book made me reminisce my own childhood, my life story, my parents and how they brought us up (my sisters and me). Somehow, amidst the cultural differences, I’d find bits of similarities with my life and theirs here and there and I bet a lot of people who would read the book could also say the same thing. This affirms a belief that there is a common universal denominator with how poor to middle class families strive wherever they are in the world.
When the really emotional parts of the book started to unveil, I had to stop reading, hide the book in my bag and look up as I tried my best not to cry. You see, I read everywhere, by that I mean the restaurant while waiting for my order, the jeep on my way home, the station while waiting in line for the MRT to arrive. No matter how hard I try though, a tear or two would escape my eyes and I’d catch worried glances by people as I rode the train back home earlier today.
When I finally arrived home, I read the last five chapters of the book. Good thing I read it at home or else I’d be a total mess. Neighbors would think someone died in my family with how I wailed on my bed reading paragraph after paragraph, each getting more emotional then the former.
More notably, as I was reading the last few paragraphs of chapter 16 (the second to the last chapter), my eyes were covered with tears, and I couldn’t even read the words anymore. I was sobbing so hard I had to cover my mouth or else people in the house would think I’m experiencing a breakdown.
I had to muster the courage to read the last chapter. And just as I thought that the teary-eyed moments in the book were over, a sentence or two would make we wail again. And without a doubt, the last three sentences of the epilogue summed up everything that the book was about.
On a more technical side, the author’s transitions were well thought, I was curious as to how Sparks would be able to make two totally parallel stories work but as expected, he delivered. The juxtaposition of events were awesome, more so because they actually happened. Layout-wise, the pictures from their childhood, graduation photos, and those from their trip added a more personal touch to the book.
I cried my eyes out with this book. It is definitely my favorite Sparks’ work to date. Now I can say I understand more profoundly where he gets all the emotions in his writings. “The Rescue” for example is close to his heart as it had traces of his son Ryan on it; or “A Walk to Remember” that was dedicated to his sister Dana.
I definitely love this book because, more than anything, all of it is real. This opened the door to understanding who the author truly is. I commend Sparks for it takes a lot of courage to trace back such a personal part of your being and sharing it with the world, leaving you vulnerable all throughout the process.
For the workmanship, the honesty, the bravery and the love of Nicholas sparks, I give THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER five out of five purple bliss stars! ###