The story of two distant brothers on a road trip to deliver their deceased father’s ashes to their final resting place. Steven Manchester’s Ashes is an attempt at humor, family, and the dark side of our pasts, but it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I enjoyed the plot, I felt that the idea of picking up your fathers ashes and taking them to the place he requested, although morbid, was a sweet and endearing last request.
What brought me away from this book was that the two middle aged brothers, Jason and Tom were so extremely immature that it felt that they were caricatures of real people. These men are in their 50’s and yet sling around words like “punk” and “loser” back and forth to each other like they are in middle school. The fact that they haven’t seen each other in fifteen years may be the reason for that, but it was just so juvenile for me that I couldn’t subscribe to it. Especially because Tom is a professor and Jason works in a prison.
In order to receive the contents of an envelope, the two brothers must take a five day road trip, even though it is the last thing that either of them want to do. In the pages of this book, you will see how their relationship tangles, loses it’s luster, and grows all in that five day trip. Sometimes perception can create conflict that isn’t really there, and through each of these brother’s eyes you can see how they both built up walls, and knock them down.
Even though the way that these brothers acted toward each other was rather annoying to me, I did think that the purpose of this book was really interesting, and the plot was sweet, funny, grisly and hold’s no punches. If you can get past the juvenile way these brothers talk, then you will probably enjoy this book quite a bit. I think that had the brothers been a different age, or treated each other differently, then I would have been able to give this a better score than a 3 out of 5 stars. I received this book from The Story Plant as part of their blogger program.