Memorial by Brian Washington
What an unusual and powerful book. I’m still thinking about it weeks (and several other books) later.
I never imagined that a book written with so many understatements brief acerbic sentences, along with generous use of the “F” word, would convey so much in such an engrossing way from page one.
Unlike some reviewers I encountered online, I believe that the central idea of the book is not really about the relationship between the two main characters, Benson and Mike. The book highlights how much working out your own identity and your relationship with your parents / your parents’ perspective, is needed in order to form your own long-term, stable relationships.
The book begins with an unusual situation that draws you right in – I just wanted to know more! The morning immediately after Mike, (a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant in Houston) brings his mother (who just arrived from Tokyo) home, he flies to Japan to look for his estranged father who is dying. This means that Mike has left his stunned mother and his lover Benson ( a Black daycare teacher with a knack for reaching out to “troubled” kids) alone together in their small Houston apt…
A very interesting read!