- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Viking (28 Jun. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670921254
- ISBN-13: 978-0670921256
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,625,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
You Came Back Paperback – 28 Jun 2012
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About the Author
Christopher Coake's book of stories We're in Trouble (Penguin, 2005) won him a PEN Award and led to him being named by Granta as one of America's best young writers. A native of Ohio, where You Came Back is set, he now lives in Reno where he teaches creative writing at the University of Nevada.
This is his first novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sounds sad? Sometimes it is just that but the writing is quite pacey and the tale meanders through many a twist and turn which creates excitement. There are also many moments of extreme joy, and happiness constantly seems potentially just around the corner for Mark. Whether he actually achieves that state at the end is for the reader to decide. Certainly there is a sense of peace and of new beginnings.
The author is excellent at drawing the many characters who populate this book, and describes their individuality. What makes them tick as people is carefully crafted for each. It is a story about the complexities of the many facets of love and its enduring qualities and also sometimes the selfishness which individuals are capable of and their preoccupation with their own wants and desires.
Along the way Mark learns the truth about his parents' marriage which he could never have guessed at. He learns lessons about fatherhood from his own father. Most importantly he comes to realise that he is not alone and his family and friends will always be there to offer help and support. However, at the end it is up to each individual to find their own salvation.
This is a very good read throughout, but possibly those who themselves are recently bereaved may find it difficult.
I found the actual story to be a bit slow, a bit self consuming and centred around the wallowing sadness of Mark the main character. I understood his emotions however because as a parent it is your worst imaginings coming true....but it went on and on a bit.
That said, I do think that it was very well written and as a debut novel was quite impressive, I was gripped at times and bored at others but my overall feeling was one of resentment that I did not get the ghostly novel I had anticipated from the blurb.
It deals with the lives and losses of a young couple whose world is devastated when their young son is killed. The ensuing impact on their lives and relationship is tragic but very well described. The twist in the tale is the alleged revelation that a stranger has supposedly had contact with the spirit of the child. The subject matter is a sensitive one and there is a real sense of the tragedy and the pain of this. The ending was hard to predict and opens you to a myriad of thoughts and feelings about the whole story.
It's better than a four though! This is a book in which Mark and Chloe split up after the death of Brendan, their son, being unable to come to terms with their loss. Finally, Mark is about to move on to a new life, becoming engaged to Allie. Suddenly, the echo of Brendan is felt. It becomes almost a ghost story, but with a very unusual twist. The real strength is the complexity of the characters. They have ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views, they sometimes think they ought to do one thing but can't help doing another, they have a strange mix of doubt and certainty, and show that love isn't a single thing but a many flavoured thing found in different places and in differen times in different ways. All this makes them very convincing and interesting. It doesn't always make them likeable; they can be frustrating and annoying, and there are times you'd like to sit them down and give them a stern talking to. They do finish up being complex and convincing characters, and finding out how the assorted complexities resolve (or don't) makes the a compelling book. Five stars then.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not too far through yet as I can't decide if I want to persevere with it. The book is quite heavy going and I'm getting bogged down in quite a lot of detail, which I am not... Read morePublished 4 months ago by DaisyDaisy
A must read for all mums and dad's
Beautifully written the lengths that love will take us when we are desperate
A very nicely written and plotted novel that although slipping into a few cliches that riddle this particular genre- basically an updated kitchen-sink drama where personality... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Zipster Zeus
This is a story about a couple who were grieving over the death of their son.It is about how they cope (or not ). As the story unfolds it draws you in . Read morePublished 13 months ago by Monarch Butterfly
Good story, but slow in most places that I found myself skipping pages half way to get to the end. Its a lovely touching story but it did not need the amount of detail and pages... Read morePublished 14 months ago by megansmummy2010
"It's ok" just about sums this book up to me. I like a few others took this book to be a modern day ghost story, the blurb leads you to believe that. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Flying In a Blue Dream
The art in this novel is for me how the author articulates the character Mark. A complex person, with whom I never got to like, indeed at the end wondered how life was going to be... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sandford
I really enjoyed this book. It had a great story. Easy to follow and hard to put down!
Good holiday read!