by J.J. Brown
It has been more than a year since I subscribed to author J.J. Brown’s blogs during the summer of 2011. At the time I knew of her work as a scientist. Many of us hold to stereotypes and think of scientists as Stoics; people involved in objective analysis of data and who are somewhat detached from the lives of ordinary people.
I learned from the start those assumptions were unfair, at least with Ms. Brown. She writes with sensitivity and insight about the world around her. It was her poetry that first garnered my attention but I soon noticed the same qualities in her prose.
American Dream gives readers an in depth, well crafted look at life in New York City and landscapes along the Hudson River in New York State. We read of the last days and final moments of a mother dying from stage-four bone cancer. These are touching scenes delivered with warmth and sensitivity. It is in this context we get our first look at the impact on her loving son, Daniel.
While reading American Dream, I came to understand and admire Daniel, the protagonist; a gifted artist who struggles with emotional illness. In Pierre, his psychiatrist, readers see a professional who genuinely cares about his patient. In stark contrast, we discover Daniel’s cunning, conspiring sister who will do anything to suppress what is best for her brother. Readers will get to know Daniel’s circle of friends. I felt drawn into these characters lives. At the same time, the antagonist evolves into a pathetic and despised creature. With it’s strong characters and dialog I think it could easily be made into a theatrical play.
Ms. Brown shows us landscapes and architecture in exacting, panoramic detail with writing that appeals to all of our senses.
American Dream excels as a quality work of literary fiction, worthy of comparison with the classics. If you enjoy well crafted characters and a good story, American Dream is a book for you.
Rising from the rock cliffs like a vague image in a dream, ruins of a castle stand at the edge of the Hudson River north of New York City. The blackened stone walls are relics of a prosperous past in a present plagued by loss, debt, foreclosure, and homelessness. People crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge see it and wonder, who owned that abandoned castle on the river? Who lived there?
Brown, J.J. (2012-07-13). American Dream (Kindle Locations 48-51). J.J.Brown Author. Kindle Edition.
Please take a moment to learn more about the author and the book below:
I have included a short bio of Author J.J. Brown below and, included the American Dream book description.
In American Dream, a young artist with depression faces eviction from his one-room, city apartment. He unexpectedly finds himself in line to inherit a family castle. The reclusive artist works to escape the long shadow of his dying mother, with the help of his psychotherapist. While illustrating his first animation film and overcoming depression, the artist tries to provide a home for his estranged son. The artist’s older sister schemes to exclude him from the inheritance because of his mental state, and control him as his guardian. His creative spirit defies ownership and redefines success. In this moving portrait of an atypical New York family, author J.J.Brown explores ties between emotional illness and creativity.
More about the author
J.J.Brown, author of “Vector, a Modern Love Story” lives in Brooklyn. Born in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the author has lived in New York City for two decades. J.J.Brown is also a scientist with a PhD in genetics, and is published in leading science journals.
Author J.J. Brown
You can learn more about J.J. Brown through her blogs and websites: