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We're in Trouble Paperback – March 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in the Midwest, snow is a common factor, the weight of it, the cold, the sharp etching of emotions, an acknowledgement of extremes. Each story posits a different situation, where death, or the possibility of it, plays a central role. In "Cross Country", a boy takes a single step into manhood, traveling with a man who may or may not be his father. The boy is tentative, wary, riding in a rattling truck from Illinois to Colorado. There are no answers in this story, only questions and the knowledge that this boy's life has altered course. In "Solos", a famous mountain climber's wife endures the familiar agony of waiting to hear whether her husband lives or dies in his quest of the mountain. She has made a terrible bargain by loving this man, the mountain a mistress she cannot fight, torn between love and rage.
In "In the Event", a single young man is faced with raising the son of his best friends, just that night killed in a car accident, his life choices truncated without warning, as he grieves for the loss of the familiar while facing the challenge of the future. There are more such tangible dilemmas, a wife whose most intimate memory of her husband is his escape from immolation while dragging a woman from a burning car; two young adults trapped in a deadly snowstorm, one of them long-resigned to death, familiar with its weight; a sheriff's baleful memories of a murdered family, years after the event, his intimate knowledge of the people involved. It is the subtleties the author examines, the shaded emotions exposed by the response to tragedy. One by one, each story isolates a moment of clarity, a peek into this universe, so enormously complicated yet shockingly simple.
It is obvious that this author is intimate with grief in all its morbidity, but as he explores its many faces, there is acceptance and a faint light of hope that finally surfaces after a black night of the soul, the brutal finality that is part of life, the alter-ego of bright days, laughter and the sweet infusion of devotion to another human being. These stories are wrenching, yet impossible to resist, Coake's talent palpable. He reaches into the human heart with both hands, sure as a surgeon, yet incredibly gentle with these fragile emotions. To read We Are in Trouble is to be changed, the world illuminated. Luan Gaines/2005.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"We're in Trouble" is easily one of the top three best books of short stories I have ever...Read more