book review: Josie and Jack by Kelly Braffet



What a beautifully messed up book. Just delightful.

In Josie and Jack, Braffet explores the erotic, sensual, violent and inescapable bond between brother and sister Josie and Jack Raeburn, who live with their intelligent and unpredictable father. Often away with work, their father is abusive and cruel – and his combination of apathy and brutality has shaped their young lives.

As Josie grows up, Jack draws her into his world. Without any guidance, Jack has become morally corrupt – but compelling with it, and Josie knows nothing else. She has nothing else. Soon, they are living by Jack’s rules, and everything begins to spin wildly out of control. What will they be driven to do? What will the end be?

You might be surprised.

You will be thrilled, and devastated, and intrigued, and disturbed. Josie and Jack is not for the faint of heart. It isn’t an innocent coming-of-age tale. Instead, it’s a gorgeous sketch of fucked up people, meeting fucked up ends.

The summary flirts with it, but it doesn’t take a genius to guess that Josie and Jack are a bit too close behind the scenes. Braffet wisely doesn’t elaborate, but there is enough sexual tension between the siblings to power the planet. There is also enough menace and malice. It’s a double edged sword. Their closeness is their destruction.

Highly recommended – Braffet’s debut is tightly written, evocative and electrifying.


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