Deftly layered, humane, these stories brilliantly capture the pathos and comedy of the human condition.
Following the death of his domineering father, a middle-aged man tries to uncover a truth about their sometimes difficult relationship. When a grade-six teacher tyrannizes a student without apparent reason, the boy learns an unexpected lesson and his young life is changed irrevocably. An elderly widow falls prey to a con artist, revealing what we are capable of sacrificing to appease what we dread the most. A twelve-year-old boy is shunted off to his grandmother’s farm and becomes part of an adult world he scarcely understands. A group of high-school students play on a classmate’s self-delusions and set up what promises to be the most loaded boxing match ever staged. Whether writing from the point of view of a child, an adolescent, or a man in his seventies, Guy Vanderhaeghe takes us into the lives of his characters with razor-sharp insights laced with gentle humour.