- Title: Goodnight, Brian
- Author: Steven Manchester
- Format: Paperback 308 pages
- Publisher: The Story Plant
- Published: 08 January 2013
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- ISBN 13: 978-1611880618
- ISBN 10: 1611880610
- Source: Gifted for Review
- Buy: The Book Depository|Amazon|Kindle|Nook
In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)
A wonderful book of love and faith that can be enjoyed by all ages and will keep on teaching you about never backing down and having the courage to stare adversity in the face. A true must-read and a real keeper!
Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.
An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.
The first few chapters of Goodnight, Brian shocked me, as I did not fully anticipate what the story was about. It hits pretty close to home for some families because of its truth and the reality of the topic. I feel that I cannot write an honest review unless I tell you about the story. Be warned, these are some pretty major spoilers!
After baby Brian was born and started on a milk formula, he started getting sick no matter what the doctors prescribed for him. It was later found that the formula Brian was on was causing him irreversible damage. That is the jist of it anyway. Does that sound familiar? I remember reading a similar case about baby formula sold in China, and that is what shocked me about this book. This may be a touchy subject for families hurt by similar incidences but know that this book is about so much more than just giving up. It is about the complete opposite.
It talks about a family’s faith in God and their unending belief that nothing is impossible or set in stone no matter the hurdles put in front of them. To me, the main character is not Brian, although the story is about his story. The main character is the person affectionately known as Mama, Brian’s grandmother, who talks about God and the way He works so subtly that you don’t realize that you’ve just learned something new, and she does it without being preachy. Mama is one of the bravest book characters you’ll ever read about, not because of her outer strength but more importantly, her demeanor and inner strength that compels her to take the reins when others could not. The author also added in stories of Italy to lighten the mood of the book, with pages upon pages dedicated to sweet-smelling, home-cooked Italian cuisine that made my Italian food-loving palette hungry for a taste. But in no way should you let that distract you from the words in this book that are so simple yet so profound.
The author used Brian as a vehicle to teach us about how our actions bring about consequences. When people were trying to change him, he was the one who changed their lives and gave new meaning to their lives and the way they lived those lives. The characters in Goodnight, Brian all play a different part in teaching us about humanity. That sometimes, even though you don’t want to give up, that there is just so much a person can take, and that it is okay. It is okay to admit defeat one day because that gives you another chance to fight another day.
Goodnight, Brian is truly a book that has no bounds when it comes to good values. It is also one that cannot really be explained in a summary, it has to be read to be understood. I must admit that I struggled to write this review. Not because it was tough in any way, but because I couldn’t find the right words to express the complexity and the love I have for this book. I dare say, that if there is one book that everyone, no matter their age, should read, it should be Goodnight, Brian. You will keep on learning something new even after you’ve read it a hundred times. There is nothing I can say to take away from this wonderful piece of artistry.
Goodnight, Brian will have you reaching for the tissues at almost every turn of the page. It is an uplifting story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it and gives you the strength to believe that nothing is impossible, if you work hard and believe, no matter what.
Author Bio: StevenManchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian). He is also the Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Other Books by Steven Manchester
Twelve Months – The Book Depository * Amazon
Pressed Pennies – Amazon
The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy – Amazon
For more information on Goodnight, Brian, or to read an excerpt from the book, check out my Book Blast post HERE.
Disclosure: I was sent the book for review but was not compensated financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.