We're in Trouble (Hardcover)

By Christopher Coake

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151010943, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2005



Each of the seven stories in this extraordinary debut collection dramatizes a deep love staring at the face of death- an encounter that elicits either the best or the worst in these vividly drawn characters. In "We're in Trouble," a woman is asked to end her dying husband's suffering. In "Abandon," a troubled young man must risk jail to do right by the only woman he has ever loved. And "In the Event" shows a young musician's all-night vigil after his best friends' sudden deaths leave him the guardian of their three-year-old son.

Suspenseful and empathic, these dramatically constructed stories show love darkening and persevering as it is tried by the cold reality of death. From a wife waiting for news of her husband's latest death-defying climb, to a sheriff thrown into turmoil after his close friend enacts a horrifying murder-suicide, Coake makes us feel the truth of his characters' lives and transforms it into cathartic art.

Praise For We're in Trouble

"Sometimes, when you're reading the stories, you forget to breathe . . . They're beautifully written, and they have bottom, but they're never dull, and they all contain striking and dramatic narrative ideas . . . They're literary in the sense that they're serious, and will probably be nominated for prizes, but they're unliterary in the sense that they could end up mattering to people." - NICK HORNBY, THE BELIEVER