We the Animals: A novel is a series of remembrances of Justin Torres’ childhood and young adulthood. It begins with the chaos of childhood. I enjoyed the ruckus ride of a group of brothers all tangled up in chaos in a working class, biracial family. There were some diversions into infidelity and how adult depression affects kids.
However, the book turns toward the end about the experience of the author’s emerging sexuality. At first this emerges as his feelings of difference which he mainly brings up as grades. Then, finally he deals with his coming out as a gay man.
In some ways this didn’t work for me. I felt like it was a series of memories not completely connected. Yet, I liked the first part. He describes his family and the chaos of children perfectly. As often happens with people who are still alive, the book didn’t come to a conclusion in a neat way. His clear strong feelings didn’t come through in his chapter about him coming out, which makes me believe it is too recent or too raw for him to clearly write about.