You Came Back

Christopher Coake, Author
Christopher Coake. Grand Central, $24.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0670-5
Reviewed on: 05/14/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Ebook - 978-1-61969-095-0
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-241-95796-7
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4555-0668-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61969-097-4
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-61969-096-7
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-1-4448-1946-5
Hardcover - 248 pages - 978-1-4555-0998-0
Paperback - 424 pages - 978-1-4555-0669-9
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In his suspenseful but unremarkable debut novel (after the story collection We're In Trouble Now), Coake explores how a tragic past can threaten a happy future. Years after the accidental death of his seven-year-old son, Brendan, and the subsequent dissolution of his marriage, Mark Fife is finally ready to move on with his life. On a snowy morning, he even considers proposing to his girlfriend, Allison, but he gets spooked by a middle-aged woman who seems to be following him. That woman, Connie Pelham, bought his old house, and her son says he can't sleep because Brendan's ghost is calling out for his dad. Mark doesn't believe in ghosts but the idea of his dead son needing help unnerves him. He struggles to find a way to tell his ex-wife Chloe about Connie's claims, while grappling with his own grief, regret, and frustration. Meanwhile Chloe's maternal love and internal conflicts form a maelstrom that tempts Mark to abandon his and Allison's dreams of a shared future. Allison has a powerful secret of her own, but as Chloe and Brendan draw Mark back into the past he becomes deaf to the pleas of those who need him most in the present. In competent prose, Coake teases out the ways that people can be faithful—not only to spouses, but to the past, the future, and themselves. (June)
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