Friday, February 28, 2014

You Came Back, by Christopher Coake

At a certain spot in the audiobook of Christopher Coake's “You Came Back,” the plot took a very unexpected turn, and I almost drove into a snowbank. Oh my God! I can't believe this happened! I thought, but my heart wasn't pounding because I'd nearly plunged the minivan into a wall of snow--I was thinking about the story.

I loved, loved, loved Coake's characters. Mark Fife is trying to move on after his young son dies, and his wife, Chloe, divorces him. Allison is Mark's new fiance. These people were as deeply textured and complex as off-the-page, nonfictional humans. “You Came Back” is a tender, heartbreaking, gripping story about families and the terrible and wonderful and strange things that happen to them. To us. It's about about loss and love. It's about grief, and how we cope.

It's about hope.

When I began Coake's novel I knew nothing about its plot. So the reading—I mean listening—experience brimmed with the frisson that comes with discovering new terrain. That's why I'm not giving any more information about the story, dear reader, because my hope is that you, like me, will be swept away.

Christopher Coake's novel “You Came Back,” is a gift, my friends. Read it on the beach (if only!). Read it in bed. Read it for your book club. Just read it.

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