Goodnight, Brian

Goodnight, Brian

by Steven Manchester


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Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn’t count on a woman as determined as Brian’s grandmother, Angela DiMartino – who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611880618
Publisher: Story Plant
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Steven Manchester is the national bestselling author of TWELVE MONTHS, PRESSED PENNIES, THE UNEXPECTED STORM: THE GULF WAR LEGACY and JACOB EVANS, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.

Read an Excerpt

Enough time had passed for the shock of Brian’s condition to wear off. Joan had stumbled beyond the grieving process and had given up negotiating with God. She was now at a place called rage. Mama sat with her daughter at the kitchen table, trying to help her make sense of it all. “Maybe Brian’s a test from God?” Mama suggested.

“Why would God test a little baby who’s never done a thing wrong? Why would He test an innocent child?” Joan snapped back.

Mama shook her head. “I didn’t say God was testing Brian,” she said evenly. There was a thoughtful pause. “Maybe He’s testing everyone around Brian?”

“I don’t want to hear that!” Joan roared. “My son will never be able to enjoy the life of other people who don’t...”

Mama slapped her hand on the Formica table, stopping Joan in mid-sentence and turning her face into that of a seven-year-old girl’s. “Not another negative word, do you hear me?” she yelled back, quickly grabbing her daughter’s hands and holding them tightly. “Positive, Joan – everything must be positive! Negative calls for negative and positive brings forth positive. Brian’s already facing some unfair challenges. We have to be positive, Joan. We just have to be!”

Joan wiped her eyes. “But what if the doctor’s right, Ma?” she muttered in a tortured voice. “What

Without letting Joan’s hands go, Mama took a deep breath and started in on her own tirade. “The doctors don’t know what the hell they’re talking about! I had a grandmother who lived her whole life as a brittle diabetic, but she ate anything she wanted. She died three days before her eighty-fifth birthday. Your grandfather supposedly had cirrhosis of the liver, but lived with his bottle for forty more years until old age took him. They don’t know beans! Besides, we need to have faith in a higher source.” She pulled her crucifix away from her neck and kissed it. “You have to believe, Joan. Before any of the healing can take place, you have to believe that it will.” She nodded and lowered her tone. “Only God knows how... and that’s enough.”

Joan placed her face in her hands and began to cry. She was now completely removed from her rage and safely returned to the stage of grief. “I’m...just... so...scared,” she stuttered, sobbing.

Mama stroked her hair. “Don’t you worry, love. They say that children are raised by a village.” She nodded her gray, curly head. “I think it’s about time we had a village meeting.”

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Goodnight, Brian 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
WolfFaerie17 More than 1 year ago
This is an ARC review Brian Mauretti's life isn't an easy one from the time he's an infant he's had to struggle with just trying to grow and be healthy. The food that was meant to nurish him thru his infancy actually poisoned him with devasting affects to his whole family. Brian's family was told that he would never walk, swim, talk, or do normal things that other children would do. Brian's parents accepted this as fact but his grandmother Angela DiMartino also known as Mama didn't believe a word of the doctor's predictions for Brian. Mama told everyone that Brian would do all of these things and more when he's ready. Through the years Mama never wavered in her belief that Brian would do all the things other children would do. As Brian triumph thru learning to crawl and sit up Mama's reply would be silly doctors and Thank you Lord in the same breathe. Mama's unwavering faith and belief that Brian would meet his potential bolster the rest of the family with courage, faith, and belief as well. Brian's older brother Ross would be Brian's main protector and champion in his stead along with Mama. Mama knew that Brian would not only teach her but the rest of the family and strangers that Brian isn't a cripple but the best miracle on two legs. Brian is Mama's special angel not that the other grandchildren mind. Brian and Mama's relationship is a thing of true beauty and strength that surely will stand the test of time itself. Will Brian do as Mama predicted? Will Brian's doctors be proven wrong? Will Mama's faith and love be enough? Will you see God's hand in this story? Your answers await you in Goodnight, Brian. Steven Manchester has done it again with this story on par with Nicholas Sparks. This easy to read story is so fluid that it's a real page turner. Following these characters thru all of the ups and downs that are so true to life. I defy you to find a story that doesn't just tug your heart but your very soul with it's depth. From the first page to the last page, you'll either stand up and cheer or be on the verge of tears with the strength of emotions that play out in the story. I will admit that this author is fast becoming on of my favorites. I so look forward to the next offering made by this author for what it has to teach me about life, love, trust, and most of all faith in God.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Author: Steven Manchester Published by: My Story Plant Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Book Blog For: GMTA Rating: 5 Review: "Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester was a real very good 'Christian Fiction' read. The author did a wonderful job with this inspirational story from start till finished. "It is truly a story that teaches us a lessons of hope, perseverance, faith and love and will change how you look at your next darkest valley in your own life." This story takes place in l976, as Brian Francis Mauretti was born and Dr. Alexander informs them that due to a formula that had been fed to their son ...he would have devastating brain damage...not being ever to talk or walk being diagnosed with a 'Metabolic Alkalosis'... a blood disorder called Bartter's Syndrome. However, this grandma(Angela DiMartino)...referred to as Mama would have none of it and this beautiful story takes off from there...showing that with all the love and challenges of this up will not be a option. For she truly "Fully embraces the concept that there is no such word as 'can’t.' I loved this quote: "Joan, you listen to me right now. That doctor's wrong! Brian's going to write his own story. He's going to sing his own song and no one's going to sing it for him. It's his life and it's between him and God...not some fool doctor who's had so much schooling that he's forgotten the power of faith." "No such word as can't!" she blurted. "Brian is abled, not disabled...and we're never going to treat him like he's handicapped. Let him learn to do it for himself, please." This author truly has done a awesome job with a story of this kind being well written, I truly couldn't put it down after I had started reading it. You will find this novel a inspirational story of love that will have some highs and many lows that will have you wondering what was going to happen next on this emotional journey. This is where I say you must pick up this read "Goodnight, Brian to see where, when, how and what of it all through a very good read that will leave you saying... Wow that was a wonderful read! "Goodnight, Brian" will give you much a lot of inspiration of love, hope and faith.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
The story on this one was very good but contained a bit too much christian preaching for my liking. Enjoyed the characters.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings At the hear of this story is a little boy and his strong willed grandmother and eventually family.  The book has sibling relationship issues, learning developmental battles and the strength of families and the author tackles hard issues with such ease.  I loved the dynamic of having a strong grandmother present to keep this family together and help each of her 5 grandchildren find success and happiness - whatever that looks like for each of them individually.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Sometimes the very best advice anyone ever gives us comes from our mothers. It may be because they brought us into the world, they have insight no others have, or it quite possibly come from the unconditional love mothers have for their children and truly want nothing less than the best for them. In this case, a life lesson is materializing right before everyone's eyes in the life of a little boy name Brian Mauretti. When he was born his mother did every thing right for Brian and yet, God had another purpose in mind for Brian's life. His life would become something extraordinary and one that will inspire hope in all of us. In the latest novel from best selling national author, Steven Manchester, Goodnight, Brian is an inspirational story of the determination and perseverance of Brian's grandmother, Angela DiMartino whom everyone lovingly refers to as Mama! When Brian is diagnosed with a brain disorder caused by a formula his doctor prescribed that prevented his brain from forming during his critical infant years, the doctors tell his parents that he will be forever disabled and will never walk or talk. While his parents absorb the devastating news, Mama, nonetheless refuses to accept that Brian will be any different from any other child. All he needs is love, and she has more than enough to give and incorporates the entire family in the plan to give Brian all the love he needs to prove every doctor wrong, including his own parents. It truly is an inspirational book that teaches us all the lessons in perseverance, hope, faith and love and will forever change how you may look at your next darkest valley in your own life. I found myself highlighting so many of the seemingly simple lessons that Mama dispenses through her conversations and outings with her grandchildren. In one case Mama encourages Brian to learn to crawl and places him on a blanket with his favorite stuffed puppy far enough away to work for. After several failed attempts to move anywhere, one of the cousins tells Mama that its too hard for him and offers to move the toy closer. She tells Heidi, "Nonsense, it looks like he isn't getting anywhere, but he is actually learning about perseverance." There is more to that particular situation but I don't want to spoil it all for you by giving away Mama's best kept advice, but trust me, you'll want to know how it all turns out in the end. Like most parents dealing with traumatic illnesses it creates a strain on the family and marriage which adds to the believability of making this story one you question whether it's based on fiction or a true story. It will move you to tears alongside the characters and have you truly cheering for Brian from the beginning. I think the best part about the book is it shows just how powerful love and faith can be when applied in the right doses in any situation. It provides hope in the darkest of places and one I can see passing along to people going through uncertain times in their own lives. This is one you will want to read again and again and keep on your own personal library shelf. I received Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester compliments of Providence Book Promotions, Partners in Crime Tours, and The Story Plant for my honest review and have it now proudly added, even though it has been highlighted throughout on my personal library shelf. It is a story that each person will find their own treasure within its pages and one you'll find Mama's advice long remembered. I highly recommend this one if you're looking for something more than just a feel good story and instead want something that could in fact change your life forever for the better. A compelling 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and the second exceptional book I've had the opportunity to read and review by Steven Manchester.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an inspiring story. I couldn't put it down! A real tear jerker at times. What a wonderful woman Mama was and what a great author Steven Manchester is. Will definitely read more of his books, and highly recommend this one.cmj
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This is a story about faith and courage and defying the odds. Baby Brian was diagnosed with a disease which would affect his ability to walk or talk. Brian's grandma said that "this child" would talk and walk. She never felt sorry for Brian and with determination and prayers she taught Brian skills beyond everyone's expectations. She never gave up and eventually Brian made alot of progress. I could not put the book down. It could make you cry but they would be tears of joy.
ChessieJT More than 1 year ago
Beautiful story. Reminds us that anything is possible if we believe and work together. Mama faced a lot of non-believers when she set out on her quest to help Brian become everything he could be. You live with the frustrations with them and the celebrations also. A memorable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful heartfelt novel! Brian was born a normal healthy baby but because of defects in the formula that was supposed to nourish his little body, he developed life altering problems. Because of Angela Isabella DiMartino, affectionately known as Mama, he would never know the word can't. Mama exemplified faith, love, and endurance and she showed it to all of her five grandchildren, but to her, Brian was her special angel on earth. I loved everything about this novel, “Good Night, Brian.” It was like reliving my childhood at certain times. It was a very emotional novel. Readers will laugh, cry, and reminisce about their childhood with their grandmother if you had one as special as Mama. Hats off to Steven Manchester. I highly recommend. 5 stars all the way! Reviewed by: Lisa M.
T-Bones More than 1 year ago
Goodnight, Brian was a great story full of inspiration, moments that just make you smile and think about the good times with your own family, and thoughts about our own direction in life. 
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
What can I say? Another 5-star rated book from Steven Manchester. After reading "Twelve Months," I knew I wanted to read this book, and I loved it before I even read it. I don't know what it is, but I cannot get through one of his books without crying. Had I been alone, I believe I would have been in floods of tears. His writing is unbelievable, and if you have never read one of his books, you are really in for a treat! This book is actually historical fiction, in my opinion. I learned a lot and found myself doing research concerning the main topic covered in the book. And our wonderful author has done his homework. Rest assured that the statistics he gives you are correct and verifiable. This story really caught my attention because this issue dealt with baby formula and cropped up in the late 1970's. I was born in 1974, and this means that "there but for the grace of God go I." My daughter also had digestive issues when she was a baby, and this book truly hit home. I found myself sympathizing with the family and wondering how on earth they made it through. I loved Mama--her faith was unshakable, and I appreciated the faith discussed and displayed in this book. While this is not a 'Christian" book, I believe the characters show more faith than many Christian books I have read in the past. I was awed and humbled by many of their struggles. I also have a special place in my heart for special needs children. I am a music teacher, and I have always felt especially drawn to those children who need a little extra help. It was neat to see music touch these children in real ways. And speaking of music, I loved Mama's choice in music! I only have one criticism. It has nothing to do with bedroom scenes, and even the profanity was so mild that is was not a problem. I appreciated the issues of racism and disability prejudice, but I did not feel that the homosexual episode was necessary. I was not overly offended because it was mild, and there was some truth in what Mama said, but I couldn't condone all of it, and I did not think it was needed. But that is a personal preference on my part.  Notwithstanding, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I can hardly wait to read the next book by this author. He is an absolute master at his art! I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lovely story of family and love for each other. Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
we all know people like Brian and it lets others know they have feelings and are just like everyone else. very good book
Hotchpotch More than 1 year ago
gripping, inspiring story Goodnight Brian is as much about Brian as it is about Mama - Brian's grandmother. While Brian is the object of the story, Mama is the source of power that inspires the family and the village surrounding Brian how to raise and treat him. It is a gripping story about real life issues and compels us to support people in such a way that they are able to reach their full potential. The main message is to become who you really are and to ignore how the world in general views you. It also reminds us to rally around one another in support when needed. To me, Mama's character is a little over the top - in that she seems to be a super hero who can do it all and overcomes all without a hitch or glitch. I love the message conveyed in the book. I especially appreciate how God is shown as a source of strength and miracles in daily life - with which I concur. Overall, it is a good and inspiring read for a lazy afternoon. Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others. Permalink
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Goodnight, Brian, author Steven Manchester weaves a heartwarming and inspirational tale of one grandmother's strength and power based in faith, determination and unending love to pull her family together in a strong bond to help her youngest grandchild have the same kind of life like every other child enjoys. The story begins in Rhode Island in the winter of 1976, when Joan and Frank Mauretti are blessed with the birth of their second son, Brian. From the beginning of Brian's infancy, Joan has worried about his ability to get enough nutrition from his feedings. Her mother's intuition and concern becomes a reality when she switches Brian from breastfeeding to a milk-based bottled formula. With each bottled feeding, Brian becomes more and more irritable, with non-stop crying and vomiting. A pediatrician claims that Brian is lactose intolerant and replaces the feeding with a soy-milk based formula called Neo Mulsay. But with the change to the soy-milk based formula, Brian gets worse when he suffers from diarrhea, weight loss and lethargy. Joan keeps a strict vigilance over Brian and keeps a medical diary. The pediatrician insists that Brian will grow out of this, but they get a second opinion and the final diagnosis is Metabolic Alkalosis, a blood disorder that affects an infant's ability to digest properly and gain weight. Tests show that Brian has some abnormality in the frontal area of his brain, he has irreversible brain damage, and he will never be able to walk, talk or communicate effectively. The primary cause of his mental disability is from the soy formula, Neo Mulsay, because of a sodium deficiency within the formula. Heartbroken and devastated, Joan and Frank don't know what to do but accept the diagnosis. But the family matriarch, Angela DiMartino, lovingly known as Mama, refuses to accept the diagnosis and believes that with the power of faith, determination, love and support from the entire family, young Brian will grow to be like every other child and enjoy the same kind of life like they do. This is the story of Mama's life mission to prove the doctor wrong with love, determination and the power of faith in God to help Brian live a meaningful life. Goodnight, Brian is a beautifully written and deeply touching story that will simply tug at your heartstrings. Author Steven Manchester has once again been able to weave an inspirational story that makes you believe that miracles can happen when you rely on the strength and power of love, faith and determination. The author transports the readers back to Rhode Island in the late 1970s with a richly detailed and descriptive storyline written in the third person narrative. The reader can't help but become emotionally bonded with Brian, Mama and the Mauretti family, as they follow along with this family's emotional and uplifting story. Your heart just aches for this family as they learn to deal with Brian's traumatizing medical condition, and help him overcome very difficult obstacles as he grows. This deeply moving story flows seamlessly, you will experience the full gamut of emotions, make sure you have a box of tissues nearby as you will definitely shed tears of pain and joy throughout the story. The author has created a wonderful cast of characters who are realistic and easy to relate to. I absolutely adored Mama, she is the type of grandmother and family matriarch that every family should have. Her undying love, strength, determination and belief in the power of faith and family is simply inspiring. Brian stole my heart, this little guy's journey to learn the basics simply tugged at my heartstrings. With engaging dialogue and interactions; and a storyline that demonstrates a family's love, strong bond, determination and dedication to overcome life's obstacles to find the joy and blessings of one special little boy and his strong-willed grandmother; Goodnight, Brian is a story of family and faith that is simply a must read, you won't be disappointed.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
“Momma” is really Brian Mauretti’s grandmother and Joan is his mother. They have faced the normal ups and downs of life but now are facing a devastating disease in Brian. As a baby, Brian had difficulty handling formula and was put on a special formula that turned out to have devastating effects on certain babies. The product had not been properly tested and not examined by the FDA, with the result that the lack of certain ingredients left children with the inability to speak, walk, and do all the normal things babies grow into with time and love. But Momma, an elderly tough grandmother with huge faith, insists that doctors know nothing and one must have faith that Brian will be and do things that the doctors insist are impossible. The rest of the novel is exciting, tender, gritty, and determined plans set by Momma to make those “hallmarks” of childhood happen, albeit at a different time from other children’s developmental stages. The reader celebrates every uncertain but strengthening step after step after step. One wonders where Momma finds the strength to stay on course. Brian’s siblings, especially Ryan, and cousins are part of the program and are always learning lessons from Mamma about believing and doing the right thing. It must be said that these lessons are told realistically and without sounding soppy or dogmatic. Brian’s parents have a harder time believing, and this tale also concerns their painful conflicts and celebrations of each act by Brian that defies the predictions of the medical world. Their part in the story is so very real and understandable to the reader. Not everyone has superhuman faith and that’s okay as well in this author’s depiction of this average but unique family. Although some readers don’t like overly emotional stories, this is an emotional story that conveys mostly grace, dignity, strength and truly unconditional love! Wonderful fiction written by a great storyteller!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Goodnight Brian” is a wonderful and heartwarming story about a young man with developmental delays from early on in life.  His parents believed all of the doctors grim forecast of his future when his grandmother believed otherwise.  Brian and his grandmother instantly formed a special bond with her grandson that she instilled in the rest of the family.  It is uplifting from the first page to the last!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“Goodnight, Brian is a touching story about a grandmother who took no for an answer when her grandson was diagnosed as incurable. Proving that through love, hard work and God’s will, you can create a miracle. It’s a must read!”