“If David could have just been nice to me, then life would have been perfect!”
Craig grows up right in the middle of a family with five children and is constantly tormented by his older brother, David. It’s not just the typical sibling rivalry, but bullying that involves violence, trickery, control and spit. His parents take a laid-back approach to sibling relationships, so David gets away with all his tormenting to all his siblings. It’s only after a tragedy that the siblings find peace.
Bully Brother is a memoir about growing up in a large family in the 1970s in California. The author requested a review of the book through my blog. The memoir is easy to read and gives insight into how family dynamics work when one of the children is a bully.
Bully Brother doesn’t only focus only the relationship between Craig and David, but also shares stories about the entire family dynamic. Craig describes how his mother would cook almost all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from scratch and feeds the men who are hired to work on their home. Craig finds a new respect for his father by going in to work with him one day and seeing the chaos that greets him when he walks in the door each night. He also gives glimpses into how he relates to his older sister and younger brother and sister. The family vacation to Yosemite will make anyone who has been on an awful family road trip laugh. My favorite part of the book was the ending because it brings peace to David and Craig’s relationship.
Craig Dial self-published Bully Brother and he recommends when the reader sees a song mentioned to play that song to set the tone for that part of the story. I think people who love memoirs or candid family stories would enjoy this book. The book is for high school age readers and older just due to the nature of the tragedy and the severity of the bullying.