We Are The Brennans

Photo of Tracey Lange's We Are The Brennans, paperback ARC copy on greenery

We Are The Brennans by Tracey Lange

Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Book Review

After nearly five years away, Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, injured from an accident she caused. She reluctantly agrees to return home to her family in New York. Having left suddenly with no explanation as to why her family and her former fiancé have many questions for her. But Sunday isn’t the only one with secrets. As truths are rapidly exposed, the Brennans must confront what they thought they knew about each other, and find a way forward together as a family.

I loved meeting each member of the Brennan family. First, there’s Sunday, the only daughter who has spent the last five years in Los Angeles, with not much to show for it. She is haunted by events from the past and feels especially guilty for breaking her former fiancé, Kale’s heart so many years ago. Then there’s the oldest son, Denny. He opened a pub with his best friend Kale, and now plans to expand to a second location, no matter the personal or financial cost. There’s Jackie, the middle son, a painter and former convict who is desperately trying to rebuild his life. There’s youngest Brennan, Shaun, who, despite his intellectual disability, works at a local grocery store. Finally, there’s patriarch Mickey, a retired construction manager who immigrated to the US from Northern Ireland in the 1980s.

Each chapter alternates perspectives between the various members of the Brennan family and Kale. It flawlessly flows between one section to the next, picking up where one character spoke and seamlessly transitioning to the next character’s perspective. I loved this style. It both created a holistic picture of the family and individually of each character.

I loved getting to know this family so much. I was sad when the book ended because I knew I had to leave them. I highly recommend We Are The Brennans to fans of family dramas and contemporary fiction!

Thank you to Celadon Books for the review copy! All opinions are my own.

Synopsis from Goodreads

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they’ve got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.

About the Author

Headshot of author Tracey Lange

Born in the Bronx and raised in Manhattan, Tracey Lange comes from a large Irish family with a few secrets of its own. She headed west and graduated from the University of New Mexico before owning and operating a behavioral healthcare company with her husband for fifteen years. While writing her debut novel, We Are the Brennans, she completed the Stanford University online novel writing program. Tracey currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, two sons and their German Shepherd.

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