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The Brother
Copyright © 2005
by Jack Barron
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This is the story of thirty-six year old ranch hand Jerry Johnson from Broken Bow, Nebraska, who calls himself The Brother. He comes to a small county seat town in Kentucky, where he stays for three years, meets his death and changes the lives of six people. Chapter by chapter the story is told of the lives of the six and is told in their own words.
William Ashland is married and the 45 year old treasurer of a clothing factory, the town's major industry. Mid-life finds him searching for something he can't identify, some meaning to life. Martha Gardner is an unmarried woman in her fifties. She and her sister Emily are the remaining members of one of the leading families in the community. Timothy Potter is a twelve year old whose mother died when he was eight and whose father is an alcoholic, leaving Tim to take care of his two younger siblings. The fourth character is Estelle Lawton, a widowed aristocratic lady who has lost her wealth and has a crippled daughter. The Reverend Theodore Houseman is the popular minister of the largest church in the area. The sixth character, Reba Mills, is a prostitute passing through town whom Jerry befriends, paying her bills and taking care of her while she awaits her child’s birth. The child is born during a severe snowstorm on Christmas day.
The concluding chapter tells, again in their own words, what happens to the six people and the town itself after The Brother has passed by. — from the publisher

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