Chris Power’s stories are peopled by men and women who find themselves at crossroads or dead ends―characters who search without knowing what they seek. Their paths lead them to thresholds, bridges, rivers, and sites of mysterious, irresistible connection to the past.
...ten richly imagined, superbly controlled stories ... Frequently, Power presents characters displaced from home, in lonely communion with themselves, defined by landscapes in which they feel themselves to be lost ... Restrained yet formally ambitious, these marvellously crafted stories brim with menace and moments of truth.
You won’t be able to put it down: As soon as you finish the quietly suspenseful book, you’ll want to reread its opening story ... 'The author laureate of not knowing,' as Power once described Chekhov in a Guardian column, has taught him well.
Extraordinary ... Power has an intelligent and confidently idiosyncratic approach to the form. His tone is generally affectless, but modulated with dry humour, and his images are sharply drawn and often haunting. There is an obsessive quality to the best of these stories that makes them feel pregnant with inscrutable meaning. Many of them, even those that deal exclusively with adult characters, have the bittersweet mood, the uncanny logic and the peculiar sheen of childhood memory ... when I reached the end, I was close to tears and felt compelled to reread the first two stories in the sequence, the better to appreciate how Eva’s life came so dramatically off the rails. It is testament to the depth and distinctiveness of Power’s characters that it seems so important to try to understand them, even as they fail to understand themselves.