ARC-Book Review! A Blogging Reader’s Review: ‘The Half Brother’ by Holly LeCraw.

ARC-Book Review! A Blogging Reader’s Review after reading ‘The Half Brother’ by Holly LeCraw.


(This review will also be posted on and


Author: Holly LeCraw
Series: None
Publishing date: February 17th, 2015
(Review based on an ARC-early copy)


(Click the Cover below to order a copy of ‘The Half Brother’ Now)

The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw

The Synopsis:

A passionate, provocative story of  complex family bonds and the search for identity set within the ivy-covered walls of a New England boarding school

When Charlie Garrett arrives as a young teacher at the shabby-yet-genteel Abbott School, he finds a world steeped in privilege and tradition. Fresh out of college and barely older than the students he teaches, Charlie longs to leave his complicated southern childhood behind and find his place in the rarefied world of Abbottsford. Before long he is drawn to May Bankhead, the daughter of the legendary school chaplain, but when he discovers he cannot be with her, he forces himself to break her heart, and she leaves Abbott—he believes forever. He hunkers down in his house in the foothills of Massachusetts, thinking his sacrifice has contained the damage and controlled their fates.

Nearly a decade later, his peace is shattered when his golden-boy half brother, Nick, comes to Abbott to teach, and May returns as a teacher as well. Students and teachers alike are drawn by Nick’s magnetism, and even May falls under his spell. When Charlie pushes his brother and his first love together, with what he believes are the best of intentions, a love triangle ensues that is haunted by desire, regret, and a long-buried mystery.

With wisdom and emotional generosity, LeCraw takes us through a year that transforms both the teachers and students of Abbott forever. Page-turning, lyrical, and ambitious, The Half Brother is a powerful examination of family, loyalty, and love.


My ‘Blogging Reader’s Review’ after reading ‘THE HALF BROTHER’:

“The Half Brother” is the first book I’ve read from this author and it was truly such a complex and descriptive novel. The chapters in this novel are separated into three sections which are listed by the characters that are the main focus of those portions in this book by this order: May, Nick, and Anita. The story is written in mainly the P.O.V.(point of view) of Charlie Garrett but there are two other small P.O.V.’s further into the story from Anita Spooner and May Bankhead.

Charlie Garrett is an average man, in his late twenties, and a new professor at the Abbott School in Abbottsford, Massachusetts. His mother Anita and younger brother Nicky live in Atlanta where he had recently visited at the start of the story. Charlie was raised by his mother and very rich and successful step-father Hugh. Hugh helped him to get his start with great direction and helpful logic in life. Charlie remembers times in his life that were turning points and the moment when he’s reunited with his formal student, May.

May Bankhead was raised in a prominent lifestyle, a father that cared for her but with a family that sometimes didn’t fully help her feel like she belonged. She goes from young girl who looks different in features and hair color, to college student growing into her own and works to becoming an independent woman. Upon returning to Abbottsford, she visits with her former teacher Charlie Garrett and has a conversation with him as they hang out at Abbott Pond. Things seem to change and begin a long and winding journey after that brief meeting and that one kiss.

There are so many complex characters and there are many jumping points from past to present in the storyline meant to give us a better idea of how things develop. I enjoyed that this was a descriptive story and the characters were likeable but there were a few moments that felt tedious and too drawn out. What does Charlie find out about his past? Does May know the whole story about where she comes from? Is Charlie’s “perfect” younger brother really everything he is praised for being? Family secrets seem to slowly come out and once they begin to flow out to the surface, they either mend or break those that they touch. This story was decently good and the writing style was well polished.


1 star rating 3.5


How I imagined the characters while reading ‘THE HALF BROTHER’:

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Charlie’s thoughts:  It’s ridiculously awkward and so I pour everything I can into the kiss, making her mouth and mine the only real estate that counts. She’s startled at first and then she begins to loosen and warm. I have to keep my hands on her face as ballast but I am beginning to lose myself too. May-May it’s you. It’s you.

Charlie’s thoughts:  We try to be quiet then we laugh and then we are past laughter. I’ve been formless and void but now I have shape, meaning, I am myself. I did not know how it would be, to be myself. Oh do you know. Do you know how long. Yes I know or I know you yes.

Charlie’s thoughts:  We were love. It was a thing that existed in its own time and could not be changed. And now I would be leaving that house. I would abandon it but I didn’t want to tear it down, to change the landscape of the past. I didn’t want May to know it was a place that never should have been built.

May and Charlie:  “You shouldn’t have given him to me, Charlie.”
“May-May,” I murmured. “Shhh. May-May.” I held more tightly. “I didn’t mean to.” She said something into my sweater. “Shhh.”
“Yes you did. You did.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry, sweetheart, I’m sorry.” I stroked her back. My cheek rested on her hair. I said, “He is the best I have.”

AUTHORS-If you have a book you would like me to review, please email me at: Thank You!


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One response to “ARC-Book Review! A Blogging Reader’s Review: ‘The Half Brother’ by Holly LeCraw.

  1. Pingback: All Book Reviews – Listed by Date | Books Movies Fandoms

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