(W.W. Norton & Company, June, 2010)
A Methodist minister gone astray, a trout bum gone fishing with his father’s ashes, an artist overwhelmed by embodied beauty — these are among the uncommon heroes and exquisite narratives in this first collection of stories by Thomas Lynch. Set in Michigan’s north woods, Ohio’s interior, on islands, in casinos and distant cities, these fictions are linked by the gone but not forgotten former spouses, dead parents, and missing children. In pursuit of love and its redemptions, Lynch’s characters are haunted by memory, dogged by desire, made radiant by romance and its denouncements.
"Lynch is a poet...and he links disparate images and impressions with near-poetic cadence, bringing beauty and earthiness alike to life."
Susan Salter Reynolds, The L.A. Times
"The cruel radiance of life found in the author's poetry shimmers in this collection of stories."
John Repp, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Mostly, this fiction confronts the remorseless workings of fate. Flawed protagonists respond to the nagging sense that some crucial perception, action or consolation lies always just out of reach, and...
Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
"It's a quietly exhilarating book, full of beautiful writing and keen observations."
James Cihlar, Star-Tribune: Minneapolis-St.Paul
"Frank, funny and moving, this catalog of loss and the lessons that come with it...evokes Heminway's stoicism, Carver's darkness and Flannery O'Connor's irony."
"Quiet yet soulful short stories and novella that offer intricate portraits of men and women at the furthest reaches of grief, longing and love. Lynch is a superb writer who...
Robert Birnbaum, The Morning News
"It may be difficult to discern which is the greater influence on Lynch, his Irish ethnicity or his Michigan upbringing, but the result is a lyricism coupled with a locale...
"Compassion, mourning, joy and wit all play roles in this tender, insightful hefting of mortality's mysteries."
"There is wisdom, courage,and great depth of feeling here. The pieces in this powerful, meditative collection are all beautifully drawn; the title story is a masterpiece."