L's Reviews > Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton
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's review
Jul 02, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult

[Review written by my younger self]
I turned the last page, expecting more and yet finding only the short bio on Virginia Hamilton. I felt like nothing had really been resolved. Hamilton's adolescent novel, Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush, left me very disappointed by the ending. However, in looking back I realize now how powerful and effective a writer Hamilton is, and that I was wrong in initially accusing her of the deus ex machina. A lot of my initial disappointment came from my lack of insight into the text. On second read, though, I find that the precise and all-inclusive details give much insight into the issues behind this story of a brother and sister, their deadbeat mother, and the mystery behind their dead uncle, Brother Rush. The issues of disease (specifically porphyria), family, and the "poor man's reality" is evident in all scenes presented between Hamilton's vivid characters.

The surreal existence of Brother Rush is comparable to the mystery surrounding the title character in Morrison's Beloved. Lovers of Morrison's story will highly benefit in their read should they continue the idea of the mystical versus the tangible in this tale. A seasoned professor at my university, in fact, refers to Hamilton as the adolescent's version of Morrison.

Readers of Hamilton's novel will benefit from reading it with more than just a shallow glimpse into the story itself. Even young readers can appreciate the many social ramifications the novel carries throughout its pages. While Hamilton does ilicit a happy ending, it is tainted with a deliberate cynicism and a thought-provoking aura that characterizes Hamilton's writing.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 2, 2008 – Shelved
January 1, 2011 – Shelved as: young-adult

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