Title Profile & Character Information

I Know This Much Is True

Annotation
"Dominick Birdsey's entire life has been compromised and constricted by anger and fear, by the paranoid schizophrenic twin brother he both deeply loves and resents, and by the past they shared with their adoptive father, Ray, a spit-and-polish ex-Navy man (the five-foot-six-inch sleeping giant who snoozed upstairs weekdays in the spare room and built submarines at night), and their long-suffering mother, Concettina, a timid woman with a harelip that made her shy and self-conscious." "Born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening minutes of 1950, the twins are physical mirror images who grow into separate yet connected entities: the seemingly strong and protective yet fearful Dominick, his mother's watchful "monkey"; and the seemingly weak and sweet yet noble Thomas, his mother's gentle "bunny." From childhood, Dominick fights for both separation and wholeness - and ultimately self-protection - in a house of fear dominated by Ray, a bully who abuses his power over these stepsons whose biological father is a mystery." "But Dominick's talent for survival comes at an enormous cost, including the breakup of his marriage to the warm, beautiful Dessa, whom he still loves. And it will be put to the ultimate test when Thomas, a Bible-spouting zealot, commits an unthinkable act that threatens the tenuous balance of both his and Dominick's lives." "Through his grandfather's life, Dominick learns that power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed, and now, picking through the humble shards of his deconstructed life, he will search for the courage and love to forgive, to expiate his and his ancestors' transgressions, and finally to rebuild himself beyond the haunted shadow of his twin."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Awards
1998  New York Times Notable Books of the Year
1998  Friends of Libraries U. S. A. Readers' Choice Award

Characters
NameBirdsey, Dominick
GenderMale
OccupationHousepainter
TraitsTwin
African American
Ex-teacher

NameBirdsey, Thomas
GenderMale
TraitsTwin
African American
Paranoid
Schizophrenic

GenreDomestic
Psychological
Fiction
TopicsChild abuse
Mental illness
Dysfunctional families
Secrets
Brothers
Family histories
Abuse of power
SettingConnecticut
Small town
Psychiatric hospital