Our Reading Guide for The Brothers with much food for thought.

Click here to view with option to download as pdf.

 

DISCUSSION

1 The book has many undertones of family secrets, denials, betrayals and sexual tensions. With all these issues being narrated from different points of view, which of the characters and narratives do you identify and sympathize with the most?


2 For what reasons and what purpose could the author have used 'The Finnish War' of 1809 as the backdrop to the story?


3 The Horse is portrayed as a beast, almost an unconquerable entity, revered and feared by all but adored by one. Was it right the way the horse was treated in the course of the story?

4 The Finnish people believe that a child is like an axe; even if it hurts, you still have to carry them on your shoulders. Was this the case with Henrik? Was he just a burden tolerated by his family?

5 Does Anna regret her choice of marital partner between the brothers?

6 Is this a universal story?

7 There is a saying that as soon as a man is born he begins to die, but for Henrik death seems to be a taboo which he takes delight in mocking. Did he conquer death or did death conquer him?

8 ‘I lifted my Gun. I focused on the enemy. Then I saw who it was. For a moment my heart stopped beating. I could so easily have killed Henrik.’ What were Henrik’s true intentions in this scene?