Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Brass by Xhenet Aliu


I listened to the unabridged audio version of Brass by Xhenet Aliu narrated by Thérèse Plummer and Lauren Fortgang.

Although Brass was published in 2018, Xhenet Aliu is new to me author this year. I'd recently heard about Brass in the past month or so and decided to pick up this contemporary fiction novel based on its reviews. I wasn't disappointed! This novel is both well written and well narrated. Each chapter is told from either Elsie's point of view or that of her daughter, Luljeta's point of view, which I enjoyed. I loved the characters and the storyline for Brass. At it's heart, Brass is a story of mother/daughter relationships and a relationship with oneself. The ending for Brass is open ended, which I usually dislike, but the ending works well for Brass.

Listening time for Brass by Xhenet Aliu is 9 hours, 30 minutes.

Below is the plot summary for Brass by Xhenet Aliu from Audible:
A waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner, Elsie hopes her nickel-and-dime tips will add up to a new life. Then she meets Bashkim, who is at once both worldly and naïve, a married man who left Albania to chase his dreams - and wound up working as a line cook in Waterbury, Connecticut. Back when the brass mills were still open, this bustling factory town drew one wave of immigrants after another. Now it’s the place they can’t seem to leave. Elsie, herself the granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants, falls in love quickly, but when she learns that she’s pregnant, Elsie can’t help wondering where Bashkim’s heart really lies, and what he’ll do about the wife he left behind.

Seventeen years later, headstrong and independent Luljeta receives a rejection letter from NYU and her first-ever suspension from school on the same day. Instead of striking out on her own in Manhattan, she’s stuck in Connecticut with her mother, Elsie - a fate she refuses to accept. Wondering if the key to her future is unlocking the secrets of the past, Lulu decides to find out what exactly her mother has been hiding about the father she never knew. As she soon discovers, the truth is closer than she ever imagined.

Told in equally gripping parallel narratives with biting wit and grace, Brass announces a fearless new voice with a timely, tender, and quintessentially American story.

I am giving Brass by Xhenet Aliu a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!