Love, loyalty, and secrets are the ingredients in the best family dramas, and We Are the Brennans is graced with a healthy dose of each. The Brennans were a large, close-knit, Irish-Catholic family until Sunday Brennan, the only daughter, left them and her fiancé behind with little explanation over five years ago. Now Sunday has returned home, and suddenly misdeeds from the past and mistakes from the present are threatening to tear the family apart. Tracey Lange’s big-hearted debut makes us fall in love with this complicated-but-loving family trying to do what is right by each other, especially when everything goes wrong.— From Elaine & Luisa's Picks: Summer 2021
In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.
When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions.
Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.
About the Author
Born in the Bronx and raised in Manhattan, Tracey Lange comes from a large Irish family with a few secrets of its own. She headed west and graduated from the University of New Mexico before owning and operating a behavioral healthcare company with her husband for fifteen years. While writing her debut novel, We Are the Brennans, she completed the Stanford University online novel writing program. Tracey currently lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, two sons and their German Shepherd.
"Reading this novel is like getting a view through a lighted window on a family sitting around a table after dark. Who are they? What are they talking about? All families have their own story and the ways they tell it to themselves, and untangling the many strands of this one was deep and richly satisfying. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I read it in one long delicious slide."
—Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Book
"In We Are the Brennans, Tracey Lange expertly captures the way one harrowing night can forever change a family. The Brennans are a tight-knit Irish family, carrying enough secrets to topple most families. Instead, Lange offers them a chance to heal, reminding us that it’s never too late to mend old wounds and that the things that tear us apart can ultimately put us back together. I devoured every page of this confident, accomplished debut."
—Amy Meyerson, internationally bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays and The Imperfects