In the three stories that comprise The Foreseeable Future, we encounter some of Price's most arresting and moving characters, set against large vistas, namely the future, its banquet of promises and terrifying consequences. For Kayes Paschal in "The Fare to the Moon" this means leaving the black woman he loves -- and for whom he has already left his wife and son -- as he is called off to World War II ("Forget about Hitler and the wide Pacific, I could die this minute in full possession of all I hoped to find in life, whoever I hurt"). In the title story, for Whit Wade -- returning severely wounded from that same war and "dead" a long year afterwards -- it will mean unearthing his life again, and all its possibilities, among his family and the people he loves. And for Dean Walker -- loyal father and son, football coach and troubled young husband, the protagonist of "Back Before Day" -- the most important hours of his life till now will occur one hectic night before dawn breaks on a day that will be unlike any other in the knowledge and promise it brings.
Generous, wise, rich with the details of very human lives, The Foreseeable Future is proof again of Reynolds Price's mastery and vision.
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As ever, she woke sometime before light. In the fall of the year, and with war savings-time, that meant it was just before five o'clock. The nearest timepiece in the house was his watch; and that was under his pillow still, still on his wrist. His brother would be here in half an hour; his overnight satchel was already packed -- a clean pair of drawers, his toothbrush and razor, a Hershey bar she hid in a pair of his mended socks. There was nothing for her to do here now but make the coffee and watch him walk through the door, down the slope to his brother's car and then away.
She had halfway dreaded the news...
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