New York Times Editors' Choice, 2012, Commended, The O'Briens.
Moments of grace and romance are rocked by cruel words and violence in this epic, a piece of rough beauty itself.
- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Peter Behrens is a master of the art of storytelling."
- Chalk the Sun Blog
"Behrens is a beautiful writer ... this is a novel whose vision affirms life in the very best ways."
- The Arts Fuse
The O'Briens is a major accomplishment.
- New York Times
[The O'Briens] immerses readers in a river of narrative that seems less like fiction than lived experience ... striking and heartfelt ...
- Daily Beast
... fine storytelling ...
- Seattle Times
Time and time again, Behrens proves himself a first-rate seanchaí, the Irish term for a storyteller, by bringing the O’Brien clan to life on the page.
- Washington Post
Illuminating ... an epic along the lines of Middlesex in the way it follows a family through time and examines the results of their actions ... A brooding novel, engrossing in its scope and detail, The O’Briens keeps sight of the family’s personal stories amid the larger history of much of the twentieth century.
... Behrens deliver[s] beautifully ... thrilling and poignant.
- Montreal Review of Books
. . . Behrens does an excellent job of exposing the particulars of life . . . extremely moving . . .
- Edmonton Journal
Behrens' fine writing moves readers from one decade to the next, and we become more attached to each of the characters with each passing year . . . a sweeping Canadian saga that will carry readers along.
- Vancouver Sun
[The O'Briens] is impressive in its scope and ambitious in its goals. Behrens's writing is always tight, and some of his descriptions are flat-out jaw-dropping.
- Globe and Mail
A truly wonderful writer who will no doubt be dominating the literary award nomination lists this fall.
- Montreal Gazette
For sheer reading satisfaction, The O'Briens is a treat waiting for everyone who read and enjoyed The Law of Dreams.
- Owen Sound Sun Times
. . . tragic and warm . . . lush with Canadian history . . .
- The Coast
. . . a distinctly 20th-century -- and decidedly Canadian -- family epic . . . pitch-perfect.
- National Post
. . . a forward-looking novel . . . you want to turn the pages because the people become so real . . . but underlying the story is a nuance of tragedy and old sadness.
- Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Behren's characters are painfully real . . . the battle of the O'Brien family is as legendary and epic as any war.
Brimming with complex and nuanced characters, Behrens's second novel lives up to the expectations set by his award-winning debut.
- Winnipeg Free Press