Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Realm of Last Chances

Traditionally when I read women's fiction, the authors are mostly women.  The Realm of Last Chances by Steve Yarbrough, is an exception to this.

Kristin and Cal, a couple in their fifties, relocate to Massachusetts after Kristin loses her administrative job at an university in California. Her new job is less prestigious, and Cal spends most of his time playing music on his instruments.  The two seem to be separate entities, unable to connect in this new location.  Kristin becomes involved in the politics of her job and is consumed by a plagiarism issue that arises.  Cal, meanwhile, continues to drift, eventually finding a friend in the neighborhood.  Kristin also finds a friend, beginning an affair with another neighbor, Matt.  

There is a lot of character development as the histories of Kristin, Cal and Matt are revealed.  Yarbrough's characters are real people each with their share of flaws.  The Realm of Last Chances is not suspenseful or full of action, but it does provide an intimate look at one small group of suburbanites that feels entirely authentic.

1 comment:

Steve Yarbrough said...

Happy to see this, Tina, especially since you identified it as a book that might appeal to women. A good friend of mine--the feminist critic Lillian Faderman--told me a long time ago that I ought to be able to write about anybody, as long as I could access his or her feelings, and I think that's true. Best, Steve