brother. do. you. love. me.
by Manni Coe. Reuben Coe.
SHORTLISTED FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS 2023
‘Reuben and Manni’s story resonated with me more than anything I’ve ever read. The love between siblings where one has a LD is ferocious but also has complexities which are so brilliantly articulated in Brother. Do. You.Love. Me. This is a story of our times so beautifully told and illustrated by Reubs and Manni. Deeply touching and a joy to read.’ Jo Whiley, BBC.
‘A Moving paean to brotherhood.’ Wanderlust, Best Travel Books of 2022.
‘A fable for our times.’ Sara Wheeler, The Spectator.
Reuben, aged 38, was living in a home for adults with learning disabilities. He hadn’t established an independent life in the care system and was still struggling to accept that he had Down’s syndrome. Depressed and in a fog of anti-depressants, he hadn’t spoken for over a year. The only way he expressed himself was by writing poems or drawing felt-tip scenes from his favourite West End musicals and Hollywood films. Increasingly isolated, cut off from everyone and everything he loved, Reuben sent a text message: ‘brother. do. you. love. me.’
When Manni received this desperate message from his youngest brother, he knew everything had to change. He immediately left his life in Spain and returned to England, moving Reuben out of the care home and into an old farm cottage in the countryside. In the stillness of winter, they began an extraordinary journey of repair, rediscovering the depths of their brotherhood, one gradual step at a time.
Combining Manni’s tender words with Reuben’s powerful illustrations, their story of hope and resilience questions how we care for those we love, and demands that, through troubled times, we learn how to take better care of each other.
Hardback, 320 pages.
Manni Coe grew up in Yorkshire and Berkshire. He studied Latin American history & culture at Edinburgh University which took him on adventures in South America before he finally settled in Andalucia, Spain. He now lives between Dorset and a tiny town called Archidona. He is the second of four brothers. He works as a private guide in Spain and around the world. brother.do.you.love.me is his first book.
Reuben Coe grew up in Berkshire and is the youngest of four brothers. He completed a B-tech in Drama before settling into life in a care home in Newbury. Always open to adventure, he decided to go and live in Spain with his brother Manni. They enjoyed seven sun-filled years together but now Reuben has returned to the UK and lives in North Dorset. He has a passion for drawing. His art has been used by both Norwich and St Paul’s Cathedral and his range of Christmas cards helped raise funds for the NHS during the pandemic. This is the first time his illustrations have appeared in a book.
Photographs of Manni and Reuben by Eddy Pearce.
Jacket by Reuben Coe.