Jerome Brothers’ is about to lose his right hand and somehow, this tragic event provides a significant turning point in Jerome’s existence
“A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother” – Benjamin Franklin
This beautiful quote is what the book sets out with – but it seems that it is not what the psychological novel is about. The main characters have no friends nor brothers to help them work out their problems, they have to face their inner emotions alone, perhaps encouraged by love sometimes. The title literally refers to a hand – Jerome Brothers’ right hand to be precise, the one he is about to lose …
Twenty-eight-year-old Jerome likes to hang out with teenagers because of their liveliness and innocence and that is why he attends one of Johnny Caruso’s parties. This is the night after which nothing will be the same for Jerome – Johnny Caruso slips something in his drink, an overconfident Jerome seeks to rescue a cat stuck in a tree, falls down, barely dodges a passing train that severs his right hand from his body. Occupational therapist Maria helps Jerome adjusting to a one-hand life but Jerome is adamant he will not have prosthetics and rather laughs off his bad luck than face his true emotions. Both Jerome and Maria have issues from the past, is that what attracts them to each other first? Meanwhile, Louise Caruso is afraid of her son Johnny, who is in a rage most of the time and out of control, which perhaps might be a cry for help? Louise Caruso’s cousin Ed has other problems as his marriage with Margaret has become a daily struggle.
Ed, always unemployed, drinks away his sorrows while Margaret works all hours and attends to his needs, reason why she is desperate for Ed to change. Their friends Elaine and Bill also experience strains in their marriage. Elaine feels there is an ‘eerie remoteness’ surrounding Bill and she has no idea what is going on. The last two protagonists in this literary novel are Tom and Phyllis, owners of the supermarket on the corner with always a kind word to spare for everyone in the neighbourhood. Their 10-year-old son David is a leukaemia patient. Tom and Phyllis are aware of his impending death but they are unwilling to accept that and it drives a wedge in their relationship. Apart from the somewhat loose connections. what do these people have in common? Each, in his or her own way, has hurt from the past and unsolved traumas or loss to overcome. Will they find the power to change and to take responsibility for their life?
I felt for each of the characters and was drawn into Jerome and Maria’s lives, Tom and Phyllis’ heartbreaking sadness, wondered if Bill and Elaine or Margaret and Ed would survive their marriage and feared for Johnny Caruso fighting his inner demons. The fascinating question before us was, whether any of the protagonists is really up to changing or rather prefers to keep on burying his or her head in the sand. That makes this well-written psychological novel a search for the protagonists’ motives and coping with their issues on their path through life. When it dawned on me what the title referred to, I felt the need to start afresh from the first page, to focus on the writing, the characters so well portrayed. Just like the protagonists’ travel through life, the book itself is to be regarded as a wonderful journey full of beautiful phrases and compelling stories of ordinary people and their personal struggles.
About the Author
Michael J. Sahno has written all his life. In 2001 he decided to become a full-time professional writer. He is the founder and CEO of Tampa based Sahno Publishing “to help as-yet-unpublished writers reach a wider audience.” In December 2015 he published besides ‘Brothers’ Hands’ also two other literary novels: ‘Miles of Files’ and ‘Jana‘.
|Publisher||Sahno Publishing (10 Dec. 2015)|