In these 13 carefully crafted short stories, Wayne Curtis explores the theme of homecoming, literally, spiritually, and metaphorically, and the many interpretations of the word “home.” The varied characters discover that home can be found in sometimes unlikely places. In “Night Riders” two teenagers find it on the highway in a stolen car, escaping an abusive institution, bonded together through their complicated love for each other. In “The Poet,” a man grasps for familiar old home feelings at a truck stop, where there is country music, drinks, and laughter. In “The Train,” an eleven-year-old boy finds that he longs to return home when his misjudged escape to town teaches him some hard lessons about who can be trusted.
Curtis’s deft touch also examines the increasing desire for a sense of home among those who are aging or who have undergone hardships on their quest to realize their dreams. Curtis revisits the teenagers of “Night Riders” after they have been apart for thirty years, in “At Mount St. Joseph’s.” In “Lonesome Highway,” Jimmy Castle returns home on a Greyhound bus, broken and ill, looking for an honest friend to help him in his final days. In the title story, a young boy’s father, David, comes home from the war, only to discover that his struggles are far from over. Watching his parents, the boy learns how deeply imbedded the love of land is in his mother and father, but he also realizes what truly makes a home.
With his characteristic eye for detail and his skillful ability to evoke emotion and atmosphere, Wayne Curtis once again takes readers into a different time, where people long for what makes them feel most anchored, loved, and valued in an ever-changing world.