Thrift Store Coats (Paperback)
Brooks Rexroat's Thrift Store Coats transports readers to the postindustrial Midwest and explores the lives of those living on its quiet edge. Interwoven with themes of love, lineage, poverty, and survival, the characters in these stories grapple with the idea of identity -- not only of where they fit into the world, but of how their origins impact their place in the future.
The collection's titular story of focuses on a couple's navigation of poverty after the recession leaves each of them suddenly unemployed. In "Waiting Out the Apocalypse," characters from all walks of life are forced into action by that which is out of their control: the decisions of local lawmakers, and the devastating effects of a hurricane's landfall. "Five Meals in Paris" explores themes of solitude and circumstance by following a factory worker from Ohio as he fulfills his lifelong dream of traveling to Paris, France.
While Brooks Rexroat's prose possesses the power to break the hearts of readers, he establishes himself as a voice to be heard by masterfully repairing what has been broken -- with unflinching honesty, and with a stunning sense of empathy.