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The Last Brother: A Novel (Lannan Translation Selection (Graywolf Paperback)) Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In Appanah's impressive novel, two young boys living in Mauritius during WWII secretly become friends. Eight-year-old Raj and his two brothers live on a sugar plantation where their parents eke out a marginal living. But Raj's brothers are swept away in a torrent, and the family moves to the heart of the island, where his abusive father finds work as a prison guard, overseeing European and Jewish inmates exiled from Palestine by the British to Mauritius, where they await the war's end. Here Raj meets David, a detainee close to his age, and feels an immediate kinship with him despite Raj's father's warnings that the prison holds dangerous men. When Raj's father beats him so severely that he's admitted to the prison infirmary, his friendship with David deepens; the love Raj can no longer give his brothers he offers to David. Weather once again intervenes in Raj's life when a cyclone hits the island, and he and David attempt to outrun their fates together. Appanah's descriptions are meticulous, and the heartbreakingly endearing Raj makes for an unforgettable protagonist. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Nine-year-old Raj lives with his mother and abusive father in a small village on the island of Mauritius in the 1940s. When his older and younger brothers are tragically killed, the family moves halfway across the island to Beau-Bassin, where Raj’s father finds work as a prison guard, overseeing European Jewish exiles interned by the British after being turned away from Palestine. When Raj is admitted to the prison’s hospital after a severe beating by his father, he meets one of the orphaned refugees, David. Though the two couldn’t be more different, they forge an immediate connection. As their relationship grows, a violent cyclone rocks the village and, with Raj’s help, David is able to escape. As suspicion surrounding Raj’s family begins to swell, the two boys retreat to the surrounding forest, struggling to survive as their harrowing journey becomes increasingly dangerous. Appanah’s intense tale finely captures the deep connection between the imperiled Raj and David as well as Raj’s desperate attempts, later in life, to make sense of these tragic events and extraordinary circumstances. --Leah Strauss

Product details

  • Item Weight : 8.2 ounces
  • Paperback : 164 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1555975755
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1555975753
  • Product Dimensions : 5.54 x 0.52 x 8.26 inches
  • Publisher : Graywolf Press; Reprint Edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 58 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
58 global ratings
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Kindle Customer Sandie Hope-Forest
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in tragedy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic story, beautifully told
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 13, 2010
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, original author
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