I am delighted to share my review today for The Survivors by Alex Schulman. This was a title I saw on NetGalley and my request to review it was granted. This is a mystery, thriller story that I found to be very addictive.
Years ago, they fled the lake house.
Now, the brothers have returned.
Three brothers return to the family cottage by the lake where, more than two decades earlier, a catastrophe changed the course of their lives. Now, they are here to scatter their mother’s ashes – young men, estranged but bound together by the history that defines them. Their lives have been spent competing for their father’s favour and their mother’s love, in a household more like a minefield than a home. What really happened that summer day when everything was blown to pieces?
The Survivors is a suspenseful, haunting novel about three brothers and their reckoning with the events of one disputed, disastrous summer.
This is one of those books that I think you are either going to like or not. A story of three brothers, their lives growing up and also of their lives as they are now and trying to recall certain events.
It was a book that I wasn’t too sure about, or at least that was what I thought, but there was something about the writing and the story that captured my attention. It kept me turning the pages and a few hours later I had finished reading the book!
The story is told in a past and present way, and the timeline of the story isn’t quite what I expected. The present time was told backwards and while this may sound a bit strange it really worked for the story. It is a story that is in some ways a mystery but I didn’t realise until further into the book.
The author uses a cottage in the woods for the main section of the story as the three brothers grow up, their parents are a strange pair and the main character of Benjamin, one of the brothers, is always aware of tensions within the family. Quite why it is mainly him does get explained further along with the story.
It is a story that isn’t happy, but as I mentioned earlier there is something quite magnetic about it. A slow burner that veers towards literary fiction that focuses on a family and what life brings. It is not until almost the end of the book when suddenly things slot into place and there is a Eureka moment as I realised what the whole point of this story was. It was a journey through the life of the family but the destination was something that had happened in the past.
I really enjoyed this one and I could not put it down, it was mesmerising, heartbreaking and I adored it. I would definitely recommend it.
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