This book begins with We're in Trouble, a suite of three stories that introduces its common theme: love darkening and persevering as it is tried by the cold fact of death. And in the vivid stories that follow, as Coake's unforgettable characters experience love staring at the face of death, it elicits either the best or the worst in them. From a wife waiting for news of her husband's latest death-defying climb to a sheriff thrown into turmoil after his close friend enacts a horrifying murder-suicide, Coake makes us feel the truth of his imperiled characters' lives and transforms it into cathartic art.
With the complexity, depth, and narrative drive of a novel, this extraordinary debut collection is at once suspenseful, empathic, and almost unbearably moving.
PRAISE FOR WE'RE IN TROUBLE
"Sometimes when you're reading these stories, you forget to breathe . . . They're beautifully written, and they have bottom, but they're never dull and they all contain striking and dramatic narrative ideas."--Nick Hornby, author of A Long Way Down,
in The Believer
"Uncanny, clear-eyed . . . [Coake] is wildly engaging as he explores one theme--love in the face of harrowing death (or near-death)--from seemingly every angle. A-.