Book Review: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver #review #novel

I feel cheated.
There was a feeling all along that this novel was written in too-journalistic a way. That is, it felt more like nonfiction, a memoir, than fiction. There were moments when Shriver hit her usual stride with the prose and I kept reading in part hoping there would be more of that.
I would have given this book 3 stars if that was the only issue. There was quite a bit of unique, thought-provoking material she mentioned in here…the twisted relationship between siblings that can come when they live together as adults, the desire to leave a marriage yet not divorce, and other subtle threads. But she left most of those undeveloped.
I wonder if she left them undeveloped because of how she handled the time when the two lived together. The fact that SPOILER ALERT the middle portion never happened would explain some of this style choice. But in the end, when it turned out that the middle part never happened, I was more than disappointed. I felt cheated out of the time I’d spent reading. It feels like an easy way out for the story.
I wanted to like this book because I was so impressed with Kevin. But this one fell flat in a very disappointing way.
2 stars.

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