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Brother & Sister

A Memoir
Narrated by: Diane Keaton
Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

From the beloved film star and best-selling author of Then Again - a heartfelt memoir about Diane Keaton's relationship with her younger brother, and a poignant exploration of the divergent paths siblings' lives can take.

When they were children in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1950s, Diane Keaton and her younger brother, Randy, were best friends and companions: They shared stories at night in their bunk beds; they swam, laughed, dressed up for Halloween. Their mother captured their American-dream childhoods in her diaries, and on camera. But as they grew up, Randy became troubled, then reclusive. By the time he reached adulthood, he was divorced, an alcoholic, a man who couldn't hold on to full-time work - his life a world away from his sister's, and from the rest of their family.

Now, Diane is delving into the nuances of their shared, and separate, pasts to confront the difficult question of why and how Randy ended up living his life on "the other side of normal". In beautiful and fearless prose that's intertwined with journal entries, letters, and poetry - many of them Randy's own writing and art - this insightful memoir contemplates the inner workings of a family, the ties that hold it together, and the special bond between siblings even when they are pulled far apart. Here is a story about love and responsibility: about how, when we choose to reach out to the people we feel closest to - in moments of difficulty and loss - surprising things can happen. A story with universal echoes, Brother & Sister speaks across generations to families whose lives have been touched by the fragility and "otherness" of loved ones - and to brothers and sisters everywhere.

©2020 Diane Keaton (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"With prose as quirky and affecting as her on-screen personas, Diane Keaton’s third memoir is the most wrenching yet as she tries to understand how her beloved younger brother Randy became a troubled recluse who lives ‘on the other side of normal." (O Magazine) "30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (so far)"

"Immersive and haunting...Keaton eloquently and unflinchingly examines her younger brother’s life, drawing from excerpts of his poetry and her mother's journals and letters.... A cohesive, honest look at an entire family impacted by a troubled individual, as well as how Keaton maintained a bond with her sibling despite tremendous challenges. A must for Keaton’s fans and for those seeking to comprehend the nuances of sibling and family relationships." (Library Journal)

"A resonant family memoir - a slim but weighty book. Keaton focuses on her complex relationship with her younger brother, whose escalating instability - vividly described - affected Keaton, her parents, and her two sisters. The author, who became the "family documentarian" after her mother's death, utilizes family letters and journals to enhance the narrative.... Keaton talks about the complexities of loving a brother she never quite knew; of watching him become consumed by alcohol and then 'falling into the process of dying'; and of wishing she had done more to help him.... A haunting meditation on mortality, sibling love, mental illness, and regret." (Publishers Weekly)

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Profile Image for Chad Frontz
  • Chad Frontz
  • 06-02-20

Beautifully Sad

Loved it! So many comparables to my own family of 3 sisters currently trying to help our alcoholic brother whom we love so much. Thank You Diane Keaton, (one of my all time favorites), for sharing your story. It just may help us help our brother, God Willing. God Bless You Always!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-03-20

Diane Keaton writes an endearing memory

Diane Keaton gives us the gift of reading the
Book she wrote. She has such a melodious
Voice, and her delivery is flawless. For all of us
Who have lost siblings, she brings us healing
Memories. Thank you Diane. Keep writing!

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  • Ethan
  • 08-03-20

So good

I really liked this book. She has the perfect voice to narrate. Lover her!!! It touched my heart.

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  • Marilyn B. Boettger
  • 07-03-20

A sad memoir of a lost boy

This was somewhat unexpected and spoke of loneliness and isolation and mental illness alcoholism and Alzheimer’s. It kept me interested and left me sad for the boy who never figured out how to fit in.

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  • Mf
  • 06-03-20

Addiction and mental health

I too had a loved one who suffered from addiction and mental health. This book was loving, definitely wrote by soul. I hope this open the eyes of the epidemic of addiction and mental health in this country.

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  • BN
  • 27-02-20

Beautiful observations of a challenging yet special person by their loving sister

This book brings so much light to a subject that affects so many of us. Diane Keaton truthfully delves into the beauty and wonder as well as the challenges and difficulties of growing up with someone she both loves and yet doesn’t understand. She digs deep and brings such insight. Beautifully done

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  • Tutucita
  • 18-02-20

On seeing with new eyes

Diane dares us to see mental illness and family dynamics through new perspectives. As our author and storyteller discovers greater compassion and grace, we get to witness her journey and see through her eyes.

For anyone who ever had parents, siblings, or walked the path with those who suffer from mental illness, alcoholism, dementia or alzheimers. Heartwarming and endearing.

Well done, Diane!

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  • Harold Buchholz
  • 17-02-20

So helpful for me

My “Randy” is 6 years older than me, and I don’t have any other siblings. I don’t know what to do about his future, but it was therapeutic for me to listen to Diane’s story. So much was so familiar, and I am grateful to her for having written it. I wish I could have been a better sister too, but it gets so hard when my “Randy” sabotages whatever help I offer him. I think we’re approaching the “let it go” years as well. Thank you, Diane for making me feel a little less lonely.

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  • Pam Knapp-Carver
  • 13-02-20

A Good Read

For those who can relate in some way to this book, I believe it’s a wonderful read.