What a lovely, lovely, lovely novel, this Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith.
William and Charlie are twins, and while they don't have a secret twin language, they are incredibly taken with the standard two-way alphabet used the world over. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie...Charlie's name is already a part of it, but William's isn't. So he insists from childhood on going by the name Whiskey. As the twins grow up, they drift apart, and one day in adulthood their bond is severed permanently. When Whiskey ends up in a coma, will Charlie be able to put their differences aside to do what needs to be done for his brother? Or will Whiskey die not knowing his only brother?
I found this story structure to be incredibly interesting. It is part coming of age, part flashback, part future tense, and part present tense. You throw it all together and you have this novel, and I have to say, I really liked it. It pulled the narrative together cohesively while still creating a puzzle that was intriguing to solve.
I really felt for Charlie. When I found out the reason for the rift, that went well beyond Whiskey just being the general jackass that he was, I understood his anger at his brother even if I didn't entirely understand the desire to never speak to him ever again. Although I felt it was extreme, the reasons became empathizable once they became clear. Whiskey was quite a jerk in his everyday life prior to the accident, and it was hard to actually like him if you have any sort of heart or care for humanity. Although, really, we've all worked with Whiskey. We all have one in our lives. I shudder just thinking of it.
The characters were what drove the story here; even the secondary characters were lovely and enticing. Juliet, Charlie's partner, was lovely and I just wanted to be her. Rosa, Whiskey's wife, was a feisty thing who was charming with her broken English and fiery personality. Elaine, the boys mother, was frustratingly honest in motherdom, and Mike, a character whose relationship I won't give away here, was lovable and a friend I would like to have.
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