From Publishers Weekly
Toussaint's honeyed voice, flecked with the slightest undertone of grit, is lovely but forbidding, the sound of effortless social grace underscored by the threat of steely authority at the slightest provocation. Sounding much like actress Alfre Woodard, Toussaint reads Mosley's novel of two stepbrothers, brought together as part of an unlikely family yet separated by wildly divergent fortunes. Tommy and Eric, joined by their respective parents' meeting at Tommy's hospital bed, are inseparable as boys, but their differing natures and fates tear them apart as they grow older. Toussaint's performance is flawless, superbly mimicking the vocal patterns of characters both large and small, varying the texture of her reading by altering speed, style and vocal depth to provide Mosley's book with texture and subtle power. She is the rare reader who allows the words of her text to dictate the tone of her reading, rather than imposing a vocal style on the book; as a result, her reading is more pleasurable than run-of-the-mill audiobooks, staying true to the spirit of Mosley's tart, occasionally sentimental prose with admirable tenacity.
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*Starred Review* At a Los Angeles hospital, African American single mother Branwyn Beerman sits vigil at the side of her fragile infant son, Thomas, born with a hole in his heart. White heart surgeon Minas Nolan sees her and is instantly attracted to the dark-skinned beauty with the radiant smile. A recent widower, Dr. Nolan has a healthy son, Eric, a week younger than Thomas. The four are soon living together. Branwyn is the mother Eric desperately needs; Minas is a far better role model than Thomas' biological father, Elton, who abandoned Branwyn soon after learning she was pregnant. Though the boys love each other as brothers, they couldn't be more different. Sensitive Thomas finds joy in simple things, a blossoming flower, a bird in flight. Eric, blessed with good looks and good luck, takes his charmed life for granted. The makeshift family is wrenched apart when Branwyn dies, and Thomas is forced to move in with unpredictable Elton. The boys live out their separate lives (Eric fathers a child at age 16; Thomas survives a stint in jail and several years on the streets), until dramatic circumstances reunite them more than a decade later. Mosley, best known for his acclaimed Easy Rawlins mystery series, weaves the themes of race, destiny, and redemption into an astonishing tale of unlikely siblings and unconditional love. Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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