Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Library - Contemporary Novel Review "Goodnight, Brian" by Steven Manchester

Title:  Goodnight, Brian
Author:  Steven Manchester
Publisher:  The StoryPlant
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Genre:  Conemporary Novel
Format: Paperback 309 pages  | Kindle 580 KB

Where to find 
Steven Manchester Online:


Buy the Book:  Kindle   |  Paperback

Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino,  who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.

An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.

My Review

This is another heartwarming tale by Steven Manchester.  I really enjoyed his last novel Twelve Months so when he contacted me to read this book I didn't hesitate at all.  This is the story of Brian Mauretti and his family and all the things that they go through to help him to have as normal a life as he can.  

From what I understand this is taken from some things that did actually happen in the 1970's.  A soy based formula caused all kinds of problems for babies because it lacked the proper nutrients for brain development.  Brian happens to be one of these babies, but he has a grandmother that is determined that his family is going to do whatever they need to do help him to do all the things that his doctor said he would never do.

I want to say right off that the character of Mama, the grandmother, is an incredibly extraordinary character. I think we all would wish we had a "Mama" in our lives, I know that as a mother I certainly do!  That woman did more for her family than seemed humanly possible at times and she did it with a smile on her face.  It was very clear that she put her family above even her own needs and that's is the true definition of unconditional love.  She was the glue that held that family together and one of the major forces behind Brian being able to do all the things that he did.

Brian is a wonderful little boy who really does defy the odds and his story is wonderful and heartwarming.  Here is where the story lost me a little....I realize that part of the "moral" of this story is acceptance, to a degree, but I think that it should have been more focused on Brian.  There is an air of "teaching a lesson" throughout the story and while it pertains to accepting that some children have disabilities and we should love and accept them and try to help in any way we can, I can understand that in relation to the story.  Where is loses me is when one cousin is a lesbian and there is a whole "lesson" about that and then another one falls in love with an African American and there is a lesson about that, etc...  I am all for teaching about adversity and acceptance, but in this case I think it went a little overboard with the lessons.  It was kind of like he was trying to fit in too many lessons and anecdotes into one story and I don't think it was necessary.  The story would have been just as good without them all.

It's a very well written book and I really did love it.  If you like a nice heartwarming, sometimes sad story with a good message then you will like this one for sure.

*Disclaimer:  I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. Many thanks for the wonderful review, and for sharing Goodnight Brian with your readers. I hope they enjoy the book!

  2. I wish I had a grandmother like Mama!


We ♥ our peeps and it’s a rare day that you won’t hear from us if you leave a message! Talk with ya soon!!