This review originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books --http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com/2011/07/review-sisters-brothers-by-patrick.html
In the olden days of the gold rush Eli and Charlie Sisters are known (and feared) throughout the land. The two act as hired guns for the Commodore and have been tasked with going to San Francisco and “getting rid of” a prospector called Hermann Kermit Warm. Though this task may seem extreme it's old hat to the Sisters brothers, who are used to killing and stealing to suit their needs. As the reader follows the brothers on their mission they are exposed to the intricacies of their relationship and the volatile nature of the job they've spent their lives doing.
Before I say anything about the book itself I just want to give a shout out to this book's designer. I've been taking a book design class these last couple months and I've learned how much thought and work is put into the book's interior. As a result I found myself really appreciating the way this novel was designed. The type used was unique but not obnoxious, it really helped me feel like I was reading a book different than any I've read before. I also loved the part openers, which included beautiful double page spreads. The book even had two intermissions! I nice touch and fitting with the time period and genre.
But onto the book itself. I found there wasn't a lot of time devoted to the setting itself. You were given enough to know it was the West and what time period it was, but not much else. What really stood out was the way that DeWitt crafted the two brothers. Eli and Charlie Sisters couldn't be more different. Charlie was a rough character. Jaded and unforgiving, he was not someone you wanted to cross. Eli, though still tough, was a more sensitive and human character, making him the ideal choice for the narrator of the story. I found myself able to picture these two brothers right down to the little details, like their hats and their shoes. Differences aside, the two men were still brothers and like many most brothers they have an up and down relationship. It is amazing all the craziness these two go through together and the fights that they have. But through it all they always have each other's back. And really what else could you want from a brother?
The Sisters Brothers is one of the first Westerns I've ever read and it wasn't exactly what I expected. I expected more gun fights, more horse races and chases. More action. That's not to say there wasn't action but it wasn't the focal point of the story. It was barely even there at the climax. Instead what I found was a look at the complicated relationship between two brothers, in a unique and interesting setting. Not what I expected but still a great read.