Review by Grady Harp
Yarrott relates The Bone Bridge – A Brother’s Story, a compelling true story with the flair of a fine writer. We learn of his large Tennessee family – 2 older brothers and a sister (Yarrott is the youngest), a mother who was crippled since age 16 but went on to be a nurse and then the wife of a doctor – Yarrott’s father and mother. Yarrott focuses on his relationship with Charley, 3 years his senior, and if ever there were exact opposites in brothers, these two were at the far ends of the polar spectrum. They were enemies in so much as Charley made Yarrott’s life miserable.
But all this changed when Charley gradually came down with aplastic anemia (a disease in which there are no platelets, the necessary factor for blood clotting). After a long build up of Charley being undiagnosed but ill, the day came when the diagnosis was discovered and Charley’s physician treated him with platelet packs – but that `cure’ was unreliable due to the often mismatched transfusions. Yarrott and his family were tested and Yarrott was the perfect match to be a platelet donor – and Charley’s life was rescued by the brother he had mistreated.
Other factors make The Bone Bridge: A Brother’s Story meaningful – Yarrott come to accept his same sex preference – much to the chagrin of his family – and after Charley stabilizes (remission) Yarrott pursues his own private life as an artist and a partnered gay man. That is until Charley has a recrudescence and is on chemotherapy and finally dies. It is at the end of his life that Charley finally is able to tell Yarrott he loves him. And the ending of the book is warmly touching.
Conflicts, past set aside in favor of life-saving measures, all the while searching for his own niche in a world antagonistic to Yarrott’s being happy – all of this, for this reader, exemplifies a true hero. Yarrott is not only a giver of life for his brother, he is also proving with this book that he is a gifted writer. Highly Recommended.
The very handsome Kentucky author Yarrott Benz is also an artist, memoirist, and essayist and now enters the literary field with a book that by all factors of judging should be at the top of the list for several categories of awards – memoir, health issues, LGBT issues, and simply, novel! He is an artist in every sense of the word, having has written about architecture’s seminal role in art history and the psychology of visual trends and teaching and creating in New York City and in Los Angeles. He now lives on a farm outside Lexington, Kentucky.
TITLE: THE BONE BRIDGE – A BROTHER’S STORY
AUTHOR: YARROTT BENZ
PUBLISHER: DAGMAR MIURA