Come Back

Publisher: Vintage Canada
From a 2-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, an intense novel of loss, memory and the limitless nature of family love.

     Hal Wiens, a retired professor, is mourning the sudden death of his loving wife, Yo. To get through each day, he relies on the bare comfort of routine and regular phone calls to his children Dennis and Miriam, who live in distant cities with their families. One snowy April morning, while drinking coffee with his Dené friend Owl in south-side Edmonton, he sees a tall man in an orange downfill jacket walk past on the sidewalk. The jacket, the posture, the head and hair are unmistakable: it's his beloved oldest son, Gabriel. But it can't be--Gabriel killed himself 25 years ago. The sighting throws Hal's inert life into tumult. While trying to track down the man, he is irresistibly compelled to revisit the diaries, journals and pictures Gabe left behind, to unfold the mystery of his son's death. Through Gabe's own eyes we begin to understand the covert sensibilities that corroded the hope and light his family knew in him. As he becomes absorbed in his son's life, lost on a tide of "relentless memory," Hal's grief--and guilt--is portrayed with a stunning immediacy, drawing us into a powerful emotional and spiritual journey. Come Back is a rare and beautiful novel about the humanity of living and dying, a lyrical masterwork from one of our most treasured writers.

PRAISE FOR

Praise for Come Back:
"Powerful, at times lyrical, Come Back gives voice to the depth of familial love and the strength of the human desire for answers in the face of inconsolable loss." Winnipeg Free Press
"Come Back lingers in the reader's mind and heart as a powerful and deeply felt spiritual biography." Waterloo Regional Record
"A very real portrait of a grief-stricken father trying to piece together his son from unreliable scraps of information." Edmonton Journal
"Come Back's tone is kind, and maintains an ethic of honesty. Even its starkest passages are underwritten with a kind of grave acceptance.... But Wiebe's principal achievement in Come Back is his avoidance of consolation. There is no cure for the pain of premature loss. Longing for the missing loved one will tug at the heart, call that command in perpetuity. Wiebe makes us attend to the beauty of the call." The Globe and Mail