cover image Foreseeable Future

Foreseeable Future

Reynolds Price. Scribner Book Company, $51 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-689-12110-4

The three masterfully written long stories in Price's latest book (after Tongues of Angels ) have some elements in common: each protagonist is a man at a spiritual crossroads; each has a child who speaks and acts with good manners, respect and trust; and, as might be expected of Price, each story teems with references to God, angels, ``the Spirit,'' and with images of heavenly luminosity, as the characters grapple with issues of existential crisis. In the title story, set in May, 1945, Whit Wade is newly returned from the Normandy invasion, where he was brought back from death by resuscitation. Still dazed and numb, he is unable to re-embrace life. During the course of one week he undergoes an odyssey of renewal, experiencing a series of adventures, mishaps and encounters that result in healing, hope and peace. ``Fare to the Moon'' concerns Kayes Paschal, who enlists in the army after a liaison with a black woman that has left her in perilous circumstances and has crushed his wife and teenage son. Dean Walker, in ``Back Before Day,''is a violently jealous husband near despair at having ``turned out less than average,'' who learns to count his blessings on a night when two young men die. As always, Price's musically cadenced prose whispers with poetry, in such images as ``water so cold it hurt every tooth by name as it passed.'' And as in all of Price's work, these stories affirm life experienced with faith and courage. (May)