So tiny this book. It’s a whisper. Justin Torres’s We the Animals could easily get lost in my purse, but it is I who got lost in it. I read it this morning. My eyes are stinging.

A band of brothers, Manny, Joel, and the baby, who narrates, grow up in northern New York with their parents. Far from their parents’ city roots. (The parents are babies themselves when they have these three.)

The boys are an unruly crop described as locusts, Billy Goats Gruff, trolls, the animals. They are violent, victims of violence. They are torn and tear. They are unprotected, but they protect each other. Until.

Jusin Torres’s prose is poetry. What is important here is not just what is said but what isn’t. The white space.

~ Veronica

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