Review: You Came Back – Christopher Coake

Hardcover: 432 pages
Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1455506702
ISBN-13: 978-1455506705
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Mark Fife – A web designer, recovering from the death of his young son.
Allison Daniel – Mark”s new girfriend.
Chloe – Mark’s Ex-Wife and mother to their son Brandon.
Connie Pelham – Owns Mark and Chloe’s old house.  She’s the ignition point for this story.


It’s been a few years since the death of Mark and Chloe’s son Brandon. They’ve divorced and both have moved on with their lives. But Mark still holds a lot of guilt within him for Brandon’s death. Things start to spin out of control when a woman named Connie Pelham enters the picture. She lives in Mark and Chloe’s old house, and she came to tell Mark that Brendan is still there looking for him.


This book was set in and around the area I live in, Columbus Ohio. So it was a real treat to see the fictional characters journey around the city and recognize all the places he went to. It’s strange but to me this made that part of the book fun. When he went to a certain park, I’d been to the park.

Outside that, I found the story very gripping. I originally pictured more of a ghost story, but it turned out to be more about the story of a family dealing with their grief, and how that grief can alter the lives of those involved. The characters were well developed, the locations were well described so even not knowing them, I could picture them. And the plot fit.

If I were to rate it, I’d say due to some language/events that it would be rated PG-13. If you like psychological books, and going into the minds of people to see what makes them tick, then pick this up. I think you might enjoy it. And be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Christopher Coake is the author of YOU CAME BACK (Grand Central Publishing, out June 2012) as well as the collection of short stories WE’RE IN TROUBLE (Harcourt 2005), which won the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship. In addition, Coake was listed among “Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists” in 2007. His stories have been published in several literary journals, and anthologized in BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2004 and THE BEST AMERICAN NOIR OF THE CENTURY. A native Hoosier, he received his M.F.A. in fiction from Ohio State University. He and his wife Stephanie Lauer live in Reno, where Coake is a professor of English at the University of Nevada.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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