With his stunning debut novel, Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates announced his arrival as a major new talent in fiction. Now, with that same searing wit and heartbreaking lyricism, he explores the explosive, unshakable bond between two brothers and the one summer that changes their lives forever.
Tommy and Nathan Bishop are as different as two brothers can be. Carefree and careless, Tommy is the golden boy who takes men into his bed with a seductive smile and turns them out just as quickly. No one can resist him—and no one can control him, either. That salient point certainly isn’t lost on his brother. Nathan is all about control. At thirty-one, he is as dark and complicated as Tommy is light and easy, and he is bitter beyond his years. While Tommy left for the excitement of New York City, Nathan has stayed behind, teaching high school English in their provincial hometown, surrounded by the reminders of their ruined family history and the legacy of anger that runs through him like a scar.
Now, Tommy has come home to the family cottage by the sea for the summer, bringing his unstable, sexual powder keg of an entourage—and the distant echoes of his family’s tumultuous past—with him. Tommy and his lover Philip are teetering on the brink of disaster, while their married friends, Camille and Kyle, perfect their steps in a dance of denial, each partner pulling Nathan deeper into the fray. And when one of Nathan’s troubled students, Simon, begins visiting the house, the slow fuse is lit on a highly combustible mix.
During a heady two-week party filled with drunken revelations, bitter jealousies, caustic jabs, and tender reconciliations, Tommy and Nathan will confront the legacy of their twisted family history—the angry, abusive father and the tragic death of their mother—and finally, to the one secret that has shaped their entire lives. It is a summer that will challenge everything Nathan remembers and unravel Tommy’s carefully constructed facade, drawing them both unwittingly into a drama with echoes of the past…one with unforeseen and very dangerous consequences.
At once both brutally honest and beautifully tender, The Brothers Bishop is a riveting story about the war we wage on those we love best, the cost of forgiveness, and the necessary pain of becoming fully human.
"...smoothly written, well-paced exploration of issues of fathers and sons, forgiveness and acceptance." Booklist
"In his assured debut, Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates wrung bittersweet romance and wry humor out of brutal fag-bashing and family secrets. His sad, witty follow-up, The Brothers Bishop, begins like a snappy beach read, but soon treads equally dark thematic waters. [Yates]... finds hard-won joy in hot-button issues. His compelling debut novel was no fluke. Brian Dillard, Out.com
Bart Yates combines the tender and the toe-curling in a novel about two gay brothers reuniting at the old family home -- in the company of a half-crazed clutch of friends....This is a surefire recipe for comedy, but there are undercurrents of tragedy and emotional scarring at work that take the story to disturbing places. Yates puts his novel together like a one-two punch....Nathan, ever the reluctant host, watches as his guests torment each other -- and him -- and take out their spleen on his furnishings. But it's Tommy, with his cheeky optimism and his inability to think his actions through, who yanks events into nightmare territory -- after which there's no turning back. .....you can't put it down -- Kilian Melloy, edgeboston.com
“One of the strengths of Yates’s writing is his ability to work out complicated plot points and weave together the threads of the story in a dramatically effective manner.”--Bay Area Reporter
“Bart Yates made an impressive debut with Leave Myself Behind, and he’s come up with an equally intriguing second novel...his story will hold you to its rueful finish.”--Frontiers