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Look Inside | Reading Guide
May 06, 2014
| ISBN 9780345804884
Aug 06, 2013
| ISBN 9780385349512
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May 06, 2014 | ISBN 9780345804884
Aug 06, 2013 | ISBN 9780385349512
A Washington Post Notable BookWhen Kristin Stevens loses her job at a prestigious California university, she and her husband, Cal, relocate to suburban Massachusetts, where Kristin is forced to take a position at a third-tier college. She becomes entangled in the internal politics of academia, while Cal spends his days alone, fixing up their new home. Soon, Kristin finds herself drawn to their younger neighbor, first as platonic confidants bound by a love of literature and then, inevitably, as something more. In The Realm of Last Chances, Steve Yarbrough gives us a richly nuanced portrait of relationships, loneliness, and a marriage, reinvented.
In a captivating departure from the Deep South setting of his previous fiction, Steve Yarbrough now gives us a richly nuanced portrait of a marriage being reinvented in a small town in the Northeast, in his most surprising and compelling novel yet.When Kristin Stevens loses her administrative job in California’s university system, she and her husband, Cal, relocate to Massachusetts. Kristin takes a position at a smaller, less prestigious college outside Boston and promptly becomes entangled in its delicate, overheated politics. Cal, whose musical talent is nothing more than a consuming avocation, spends his days alone, fixing up their new home. And as they settle into their early fifties, the two seem to exist in separate spheres entirely. At the same time, their younger neighbor Matt Drinnan watches his ex-wife take up with another man in his hometown, with only himself to blame. He and Kristin, both facing an acute sense of isolation, gravitate toward each other, at first in hope of a platonic confidant but then, inevitably, of something more. The Realm of Last Chances provides us with a subtle, moving exploration of relationships, loneliness and our convoluted attempts to reach out to one another.This ebook edition includes a reading group guide.
Born in Indianola, Mississippi, Steve Yarbrough is the author of five previous novels and three collections of stories. A PEN/Faulkner finalist, he has received the Mississippi Authors Award, the California Book Award, the Richard Wright Award, and another prize from… More about Steve Yarbrough
“Inspires the kind of wonder and elation one feels in the hands of a gifted writer. . . . [It] turns a light on the kind of lives that so often go unremarked, suffusing them with compassion, empathy and rare beauty.” —The Washington Post“Yarbrough allows the opening and closing of chasms between [his characters] the proper space and time to develop, thus allowing them the chance to achieve maximum resonance.” —The Boston Globe “An exhilarating, intelligent, beautifully complicated novel. I love how richly peopled it is. . . . Every character has a secret sorrow.” —Margot Livesey“Boldly provocative, reflective, witty and wise, and deeply insightful. . . . Steve Yarbrough stands among the first rank of contemporary novelists, and stands alone with the deep compassion and humanity he brings to his characters and their stories. . . . [The Realm of Last Chances] is that rare achievement, a page-turner that also turns pages within the reader.” —Jeffrey Lent “Yarbrough stakes his claim to being much more than a regional writer. The Realm of Last Chances is a fine novel unbound by geography. . . . And he shows us that the real territory of his fiction . . . is not geographical at all, but the unmapped terrain of the heart.” —The Jackson Clarion-Ledger “A deeply intelligent and wildly moving story about the many permutations of love, betrayal and redemption.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Magnificent. . . . This beautifully written story is the most honest, insightful and, ultimately, affirmative novel about love under great stress that I’ve read in years.” —Howard Frank Mosher “Yarbrough spins his words into a web of subtle poignancy. After finishing, you’ll want to read [his] entire backlist (and you should).” —BookRiot
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