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Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found Paperback – April 28, 2009
"Brave Enough" by Cheryl Strayed
From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes--drawn from the wide range of her writings--that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive. Learn more | See related books
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Top Customer Reviews
All she wanted was a loving, solid relationship with her only sibling. To accomplish this, she read everything she could find on sibling relationships and entered psychotherapy herself. But Carl remained Carl, unwavering in his unpleasantness, the man who went so far as to go to a performance of Wagner's "The Ring Cycle" rather than attend his only sister's wedding.
Then Carl was struck with a cancer called adenocarcinoma, which has a survival rate of only 11%. Sure that this would be their chance to bond, their last chance, Marie dropped everything in New York and moved to Washington to be with her brother. He accepted her help, in his own way, as she researched treatment regimens and clinical trials, and learned everything there is to know about apple orchards.
Marie also researched their family and uncovered a wealth of genealogical research. While this did not interest Carl, readers will be interested to learn that Marie's aunt, Anita Brenner, was also a writer, an art critic who was integral to bringing Mexican art to prominence in the 1930s. No matter how successful she was in her career, her older brother, Marie and Carl's father, never approved of her. His letters to his sister have exactly the same negative tones of judgment and disapproval as Carl's letters to Marie.Read more ›
As the title suggests, Ms Brenner and her brother, Carl, are not at all alike. Chalk and cheese, in fact.
She's an investigative journalist, highly intelligent, happy and successful. He is similarly smart and successful, but also anal and controlling, a cold fish who sends his sister a tray of fruit from his orchards every year with a note that says: 'I picked them myself. Don't give them away.'
A right-wing lawyer from Texas who has in his mid-life moved into growing apples in a big way in Washington State, he has always kept his younger, more lefty, liberal-intellectual sister at more than arm's length. It seems he has no love for her, and his attitude towards her and her smart, New York life is obnoxious and condescending. And really weird. 'You always have to show off and tell us what you know, Carl said.'
Anyone of us in the same boat, faced with such a dour character and such direct put-downs, would be forgiven for turning our back on him. Yet she doesn't cast him off as a bad egg or a black sheep, but instead, when she discovers he has cancer, she puts her life on hold and moves across the country to go into bat for him, hoping to find a way to save his life, and also to spend their last few months together and fix what ails them both.Read more ›
"Apples & Oranges" chronicles the story of Marie and her brother Carl (as well as other interesting members of the Brenner clan), a relationship that has been contentious almost from birth...or at least dating back to Carl, age 3, throwing his baby sister out the window. Fast forward to adulthood, where the separation of siblings is not only geographical, but entrenched by their vastly different personalities; Carl is a conservative apple grower, living in Washington state, while Marie, a classic New York liberal, makes a living as an investigative journalist for "Vanity Fair." Their worlds could not be more different, so too, their personalities.
As adult siblings, every encounter remains strained. When Carl sends precious fruit from his orchards as a gift to Marie, it comes complete with instructions and follow-up phone calls. Even Carl's decision to share his life-altering secret (a terminal disease) is done by letter to Marie delivered via FedEx and scheduled to arrive after the Thanksgiving holiday. In turn, when Marie decides to fly out to Washington upon learning the news, Carl is not informed ahead of time for fear of sibling rejection.
With such a long way to go, is it possible for two individuals so separate in their philosophies and life styles to come together as family in the face of this crisis?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a remarkable literary work. Marie Brenner writes about the relations that exist between siblings and how difficult and overwhelming they are to understand. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Frank
For decades I have lived in the town where her brother's orchards were. Her details of this area are dramatically incorrect, to the point where I would question the authenticity... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Treaty
It seemed more of a story about the author and her achievements than about the brother and his final journey.Published on October 22, 2013 by Carol Maul
did not think the brother merited his sister's good intentions-- would have liked a more in depth account of their relationshipPublished on March 29, 2013 by Marilyn Feinman
The most (only?) honest moment in the book is where the author's brother calls her a phony, and she stops, for one sentence, to pose the question of whether she is indeed a phony. Read morePublished on September 19, 2012 by Heath
Throughout their lives, author Marie Brenner, a NYC journalist, and her attorney turned Wenatchee Valley orchardist brother's entirely different personalities, political and social... Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by Julee Rudolf
Even though your siblings may not have the mental issues presented here, if you have any brothers or sisters, you will probably still be able to relate to the complicated... Read morePublished on May 31, 2010 by DANA VANSCOY
Fragmented, hard to follow; boring non-essential pages....I gave up about half-way through....I didn't care what happened to either the author or her brother.Published on January 27, 2010 by doglover
It started when Cain slew his brother Abel. Ever since these Biblical brothers duked it out, siblings throughout the ages have been at war with each other. Read morePublished on September 17, 2009 by LegalBeagle