When I saw the cover of this book, I fell in love. Once I discovered the contents of the book, I became excited to read it. BROTHER SID, with beautiful rhythm and lyrical quality, follows Sidney Lanier through the Civil War and beyond. Additionally, there is a subdued, but important, parallel contemporary story of teacher Alma Andrews, a Sidney Lanier enthusiast. The core strength of this novel is its attention to setting, description, and period detail. My favorite scenes were those that took place during the war...and if you can get me excited to read about carnage and battle, then you have done something amazing! Also interesting were the dinner conversations and party scenes that appear in the story. I enjoyed how Lamar convincingly portrayed classes of people and political views during this time. May Lamar has produced an engaging and absorbing portrait of Sidney Lanier and his times. This was a great read. I think that fans of nineteenth-century literature and Civil War enthusiasts would definitely enjoy this book.
Reading Brother Sid gave me two afternoons of pure pleasure. Lamar has painted a picture of one of the most lovable and respected men. I would have loved being his friend!
Brother Sid Would Approve
I am grateful to my friend for sending me the book and grateful to May Lamar for illuminating the essence of Lanier. I am sure Brother Sid would approve.
Like a Guy You Went to College With
I cannot tell you in strong enough words how enamored I was with the whole thing. I've always loved the Civil War and Lamar's depiction of it felt very personal and made it all the more poignant. Her description of the South and its core of feeling was refreshingly satisfying. But the biggest success of all was Lamar making Sidney Lanier seem like a guy you went to college with. I'm more than impressed and proud.
I just finished Brother Sid and was blown away. It is a beautiful book, so sensitive and so understanding...metaphors from Heaven...I loved the gentle style, the slowly paced narrative...the painful beginning moving along to a tranquil and not surprising ending...the many characters each described as though the author has known them all of her life, so many unbearable tragedies, but few notes of hate, anger or vitriolic residue. The philosophy of acceptance along with sadness shines through. I loved the author's deep roots and connection with the South. It was almost like a musical "requiem"- the dark deep choruses interrupted by lovely melodic interludes...and puncuated always by the spirit of unvanquished life—the flute. Thanks for an unforgettable read.
Among the endearing traits of Sidney Lanier sensitively depicted in this fictional account by a discerning, talented writer are his optimistic outlook and sense of humor. At times, it seems a contemporary wand is waved over the text, which provides energy as well as enlightenment.
A Yankee Perspective
I cried through a good portion of Brother Sid and felt a connection to all of the characters (even though I'm a Yankee).
I'm determined to pace myself so that I don't gobble it up too quickly.
I feel like I know Sidney Lanier
It is hard these days to find a book written about someone the reader can care about. May Lamar has done this with great style and much research.