Cover Image: Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer

Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer

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Member Reviews

Though this book was short, it felt very long. The sentences were a long stream of conscious thoughts that ran on and on. I liked the story & characters but the writing really kept me from connecting with it. I wish it was written differently because I probably would’ve liked it more. 

Thanks so much for netgalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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arc provided by netgalley for an honest review

This was a beautifully written prose about two siblings unable to truly process their mother's death. "Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer" was a blend of fantasy of reality which slowly reveals both the personal traumas and cultural traumas that the characters have endured and the various misconceptions that tourists have for both Indigenous people and the town. 

This book took me some time to read because it dealt with very dark topics and it was a complex story about grief that makes you take breaks so you can fully process what you have just read, 

Figueroa's writing was very captivating and I look forward to reading more of her works.
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When their mother Rosalinda dies, Rufina and Rufa, brother and sister, find their inability to accept the loss evokes ghosts, those of the past and of a particularly helpful angel.  Not to mention a local member of the police force who has been in love with Rufina since they were in school.  In gorgeous prose formed by layers of reality and fantasy, Jaimie Figueroa spins out their tale revealing traumas of the past and the misconceptions of the tourists who visit the high desert city they inhabit.  She is deliberately vague as to Rosalinda's origins thus obfuscating the tribal traditions usually a factor in books covering this material, but that doesn't lessen the impact of the power of the fate of these three.  Lovely.
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This was just not for me. Too stream of consciousness. Even though it was short, it took my a while to get through it.
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Very atmospheric writing that keeps the reader engaged in this story about grief and hardship. An adult brother and sister who recently lost their mother try to make it through a weekend. The impetus seems silly but the way it’s written demonstrates complexity in life, emotions and relationships. A beautiful, sad yet short and quick reading novel. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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Jamie Figueroa’s debut novel “Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer” is a fever dream, by turns lyrical, often highly disturbing. The boundaries between past and present, reality and magic are fleeting and uncertain. It is a truly gripping read from start to finish.

The foundation of the story is rooted in trauma, tragedy, and familial bonding. While many scenes are wonderous, beautiful, loving, and kind, many others are dark and foreboding. And the reader does not get much if any advance warning. You may be going along languishing in the beauty of Figueroa’s sentences and all of a sudden read a bit that makes you stop, ask yourself, “What was that?”, re-read, and process. I love books like that.

I do not know Ms. Figueroa’s background, but I  look forward to soon finding out. She clearly knows about what she is writing and has beautiful style and technique. We are going to be hearing a lot about her as “Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer” is going to appeal to a wide audience.

Thank you to Catapult and NetGalley for the dARC. Much appreciated.
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Jamie Figueroa writes about emotion, family, and selfhood in this well-composed book. Literary, lovely, and character-centered.
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I’m not sure what I was expecting with this novel, but wow. A beautifully written tragic tale, this one took me by surprise. 
It touches on loss, thoughts of suicide, depression, prejudice, lots of other heavy topics that I won’t say to avoid spoilers.   
A sister trying desperately to save her brother one last time. 
To me, it really was Rufina’s story and all she had endured. And it was a lot. 
It was, at times, hard to follow. But I found the ending wrapped it up nicely. That ending was triumphant. It’s a short novel that packs a punch.
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Reading this is like watching an ornate and color-drenched panorama of personal drama and tragedy and love and resignation circle around you. It's horrifying and joyous and moving and about survival and how dysfunctional families and lives can lead to self-sufficiency and resilience and at the same time cause depression and something that goes even beyond depression into death-like living. Highly recommended.
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This book is well written and has good character development I just couldn’t personally get into the story and found it a little bit of a struggle to keep reading. In the end it does wrap up everything and answers the questions you have, just left a little lacking for me personally. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
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Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer was a deeply moving novel about the past and present trauma that indigenous people face. The story follows a brother and sister as they try to reckon with the loss of their mother. I was swept away into a world that is entirely different from my own. Thanks you NetGalley and Catapult for allowing me a first read of this beautiful novel. 

Pub Date: 02 Mar 2021
Book: 88/101
Star Rating: 4
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