Book of the week: O brother, where art thou?

30th April 2004 at 01:00

Name all the Animals: a memoir of the child left behind
By Alison Smith
Simon amp; Schuster pound;12.99

Loss of a sibling is one of the least written about, least-often acknowledged losses: dead children, parents, spouses and lovers have all been much-mourned in literature, while brothers and sisters have had far less of a look-in.

But who is a closer companion than one we've grown up with? Alison Smith's deeply touching memoir charts the three years following the death of her 18-year-old brother, Roy, with whom she was so close that her family used to call both or either of them "Alroy".

From the cataclysmic news that blasts the family one summer morning, 15-year-old convent schoolgirl Alison reels out into her life, unsure as to who she is and what to do. For a long time, her parents, trying to protect their only remaining chick, hide from her the painful details of Roy's car-crash death, seeking refuge in their deep-rooted Catholicism, registering her for driving lessons, but failing to let her take the wheel.

Read more in this week's TES Friday magazine (page 1819).
Other books reviewed this week include:nbsp;

You Don't Really Know Me: why mothers and daughters fight and how both can win
By Terri Apter
WW Norton amp; Co pound;17.99

Teacher Training at Cambridge: the initiatives of Oscar Browning and Elizabeth Hughes
By Pam Hirsch and Mark McBeth
Woburn Press pound;60 hbk; pound;18.99 pbk

The History and Architecture of Chetham's School and Library
By Clare Hartwell
Yale University Press pound;25


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