Brother by Ania Ahlborn
Gallery Books (September 2015)
336 pages, e-book $7.99, paperback $12.97
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington
This is the second book I’ve read this year from Ania Ahlborn, having read Within These Walls back in April and now Brother. Both works are fine examples of literary horror and each is well worth your time as a reader.
Brother is the disturbing story of the Morrow family who live deep in the heart of the Appalachians in West Virginia. This is a family that has managed to take all of the fun out of dysfunctional. There is definitely a strange family dynamic at play here, with abusive parents and siblings that are just as bad. “Folks like the Morrows didn’t have much. They got by living off the land.” This is a quote that goes much deeper than what’s on the surface.
At the core of the story is Michael, the youngest brother among the four siblings. Michael was not born a Morrow, having been abducted when he was just six years old. Told he was abandoned by his family, Michael has grown into his teen-aged years immersed in the horrors of the Morrow household.
Brother is a story of complex relationships, with fully developed characters, that left me beaten and fully drained by the book’s end. As all of the secrets of this tale were reveled, I felt as if I was about to crumble, so powerful were the images in my mind. It left me asking how much can one person take before they just snap.
I would love to see this on the big screen some day. Another book that’s certain to make my top ten list at the end of the year.
Brother is available now in every imaginable format from Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.
If you love horror. I promise you won’t be disappointed if you choose to make Brother your next read.
(Ania Ahlborn is the bestselling author of the horror thrillers Within These Walls, The Bird Eater, The Shuddering, The Neighbors, and Seed, which has been optioned for film. Born in Ciechanow, Poland, she lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and their dog.)