cover image Jacket Weather

Jacket Weather

Mike DeCapite. Soft Skull, $16.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-59376-693-1

Themes of love and aging propel DeCapite’s spare and lyrical novel (after Through the Windshield). Mike, a middle-aged man, has been living in New York City since the 1980s. His eye for the rusty, worn-down sheen of the city’s surfaces reflects his own malaise, as do his thoughts while walking around (“How long could I go unnoticed in a guard box on the Manhattan Bridge?”). A chance encounter with June, an old acquaintance, rekindles memories from 20 years earlier. June reveals she is leaving her current husband, which fuels Mike’s obsession (“I’ve always had a thing for you,” he tells her). The feeling, it turns out, is mutual. Yet Mike and June both operate in the past, using their midlife realizations and woe to sound off on their feeling that life didn’t add up the way they expected. DeCapite has a poet’s eye for the city’s majestic details, and illustrates how his characters come to see the same things differently over the years. DaCapite ultimately shows how Mike and June can’t control the forces around them, but they can hold onto the memories that helped shape them, adding up to a worthwhile meditation. (Oct.)