Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Book Review - Memorial by Bryan Washington

 I had read good buzz about Memorial by Bryan Washington so I was excited to begin this book. It's a quiet book - rather reflective.  Benson (Black daycare teacher) and Mike (Japanese American chef) are a couple living in Houston. When we first meet them, they are on the outs. It's convenient to be together, but they seem to have lost connections and interest. 

Multiple issues take them apart and that causes reflection on both sides. Mike hears that is estranged father is dying in Japan. He flies to Japan to reconnect and care for the man as he finishes his last weeks.  Meanwhile - Mike's mother has flown in for a visit and Benson is left living with her and slowly learning about her, Mike, and frankly himself. 

cover blurb - An absurd domestic situation leads Benson to a deeper understanding of family and himself. Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together or fracture everything they've ever known. Memorial is a funny and profound story about big first loves, family in all its forms, becoming who you are supposed to be, and the limits of love. 

At first I wasn't sure about this book, but I became interested in the characters and their transformations.  It's a rather different book for me with male characters reacting to love, feelings, family issues. As I said it's quiet - and often those are the ones you have to watch out for - they can pack a punch. 


  1. Sounds interesting Joanne, it's good to read something new at times.
    Take care.

  2. Your reading interests are wonderfully diverse.
    With Memorial Day around the corner, the timing's right for this one too. Good on you, Joanne.
    Stay well and cool, friend.
    Oh, sorry, I've been a negligent pen-pal. I owe you.

    1. reviews grab my attention. I like "different" at various times.
      Believe me, it's a crazy cool and wet spring. next 10 days are wacky.
      And no pressure on "pen-pal" fun - it's always spur of the moment crazy. Cheers!

  3. An interesting premise. I wonder how many people would relish time with their mother-in-law!!

    1. and there was a language barrier in this book. !