To add to the whole drama both brothers fall in love with the same woman. Not a little crush or a passing summer fling - nope! A crazy and unstoppable passion - the kind that you can assimilate to trying to put out a fire on a pile of hot fresh hay. Somewhat impossible!
At the beginning of the book I felt very attracted to Shento and took a liking to him at once while not really getting much into Tan. But as the book progresses and Shento's passion for Sumi takes over him creating him into a monster up to the point of putting her in prison together with their son; well that's when my inner being got on fire against such inhumane actions only because we cannot have the object of our desire.
The main thing about this book which got me thinking was about how many times we feel like we are entitled to something or someone and want to force things to happen to satisfy that same desire which is deep in us.
I once read in a book which quotes many of Nietzsche's thoughts and sayings and one following quote for me says it all. Here it goes:
The true object of desire is not necessarily what it appears at first glance to be pursuing. This is why we do not always know what we want. Were we able to view our desires in the full light of consciousness, we would begin to perceive that the process of desiring is never without the projection of the representation of a want: want of another person, want of recognition, want of affection, want of self.
" ...Yet there is not only want in the object of Desire. There is in Desire a Force, which cannot be reduced to the individual and egocentric will to power.
This is Life wanting itself through the movement of desiring, Life seeking its own assertion and self-growth. Desire cannot be reduced to a desire of another person. It is not enough to characterize desire to say that one desires with respect to other people. All desire emanates from the self, even if some of them contain a richer and deeper self-assertion than others. Does this not imply in the end that the expression “object of desire” rests on a misunderstanding? The essence of Desire is not in its object, but in the subject who is desiring. To desire is to manifest, to give oneself in a perpetual self-manifestation, in a creation of oneself by oneself..."
All in all we have to be careful with what we desire - and this book shows this point very clearly. I wonder what experiences Da Chen when through and what motivated him to write a book with such a powerful hidden lesson (at least for me it was!). But even for those who aren't into getting in the whole deeper/philosophical side it's still a great novel to sit back and enjoy a good read!
Here goes the book review:
BROTHERS has been chosen as BEST BOOKS OF 2006 by:
- The Washington Post
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Miami Herald
- Salt Lake Tribune
- Publishers’ Weekly
Separated by distance and opportunity, Tan and Shento follow the paths that lie before them, while unknowingly falling in love with the same woman and moving toward the explosive moment when their fates finally merge.
Brothers, by bestselling memoirist Da Chen, is a sprawling, dynamic family saga, complete with assassinations, love affairs, narrowly missed opportunities, and the ineluctable fulfillment of destiny.
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