Three years have passed and Bo has come home. But, hes not the same Bo who enlisted. Hes uncommunicative. He holes up in his room for days, barely eating. He doesnt let anyone in his room. Once Levi was able to peek in and saw a mini-disaster area; mattress on the floor, clothes strewn all over, piles of papers and maps.
Bo stuns his family again by saying hes going to hike the Appalachian Trail, a decision that no one understands, once again. Levi knows differently, as hes been able to uncover Bos computer IDs and Passwords and has seen what websites Bo has been accessing. He knows Bo is heading towards Washington, D.C. Unable to determine what to do to help his brother, Levi ultimately decides to meet his brother midway on his journey and enlists his best friends, Pearl and Zim, to drive him from Massachusetts to New Jersey.
As the duo walks, sometimes with long periods of silence, they begin to understand each other a little better.
The Things a Brother Knows, in my mind, is a departure from Reinhardts other books, A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life and How to Build a House, which I reviewed on this website. And Im grateful that shes made this departure. Its a story of confusion (why would someone who has everything enlist in the Marines). Its a story of change (the new Bo is so different than the old one). Its a story of understanding (while Levi cant really imagine what Bo went through, he tries). Its a story of maturity (Levi grows up in so many ways during his journey). Reinhardt has filled The Things a Brother Knows with great characters, a great story and a lot of hope. Ive come to regard Dana Reinhardt as a must-read author. Im betting you will as well.