You Came Back Essay

Submitted By Emmm321
Words: 1554
Pages: 7

You Came Back, by Christopher Coake, published June 12, 2012 is set in Ohio during the winter season. Mark is in love with his girlfriend, Allison; however he still has memories and thoughts of his ex-wife, Chloe. Mark wants so bad to move on and decides to ask Allison to marry him, but he does not know how to keep his old life separate from his new life. Mark was married to Chloe, and they had a son together named Brendan. When Brendan was seven years old, he fell down the stairs, cracking his skull and dying instantly. The way Mark is affected by these struggles starts to hurt everyone around him, including his fiancé that is trying to help him cope with the past. Christopher Coake shows throughout the story that past events can affect present activities. Coake keeps the reader on their toes throughout his entire novel, to the point where you never want to set the book down, he uses a deep sense of emotion to bring his readers to suspicion. Coake exposes Mark’s thoughts so well it is almost like the novel is in 1st person narrative. Another very important theme in Coakes novel is happiness. Mark is trying so hard to find his happiness again since Brendan died, but things just keep being brought to his attention that forces him to remember the past. Mark still wonders what life would have been like if Brendan had lived, or if he could have done anything to change what happened.  He has been thinking this for the past seven years, and still doesn’t know the answer. Mark’s wondering does not help him gain closure with the whole situation though, and his thoughts only make him more upset. He is happy with his new life, but he still feels that there is something left of his old life. Mark loves Allison, and their life together is good and happy, but he wonders all the time if he can be as happy with her as he was with Chloe. He has moved on, but he hasn’t forgotten. He tries his hardest to keep his thoughts to himself, but this makes things worse between him and Allison. He starts to shut her out and doesn’t talk to her about his feelings or thoughts. Allison takes this as more than just Mark closing himself off. She thinks that she is doing something wrong, and worries that things between them are not going to work out. Mark tried this hardest to let Allison know that everything is going to be fine, but then a lady named Connie Pelham is introduced. She tells Mark that she is living in his old house, the one that Brendan had died in. She says that Brendan is still there, and that he calls for his daddy. This not only makes Mark more frustrated with his life, but makes him question what life is. He starts to wonder if ghost are real, and if his son really is one like Connie Pelham says. His first thought is to keep Chloe away from the old house, because this would only make he want his old life back more. Before long though, Connie Pelham gets contact with Chloe and tells her all about Brendan’s ghost. Chloe then tells Mark that Connie is telling the truth, that she has had an experience with Brendan and felt him. This leads Mark to more questions and he finally decides to see for himself if all of this was true. Mark stays at the house alone and does in fact come in contact with Brendan. This make Mark want to help Brendan and him and Chloe decide to call a medium. Mark has been keeping all of this from Allison, and when he finally decides to tell her she gets very upset and doesn’t want to talk to him. Coakes novel not only was suspenseful for me, but led me to the realization that life can be so much more complicated.
In Slate Magazines critical review of You Came Back, they state that “Coake’s narrative voice is descriptive and detailed, occasionally to the point of flatness”. As I read You Came Back, this thought didn’t once cross my mind. I didn’t get bored with the book in any way, especially with Coake’s narrative voice. I feel that Coake’s couldn’t have made his novel any better. He was