A HAND REACHED DOWN TO GUIDE ME
A Hand Reached Down to Guide Me is populated by characters, young, old or somewhere in between, who are broadly knowledgeable and often creative and variously accomplished, whether as doctors, composers, academics or journalists. Terrifyingly self-aware, each one of them carries the full weight of the human condition: parents in assisted-living facilities, too many or too few people in their families and marriages, the ties that bind a sometimes messy knot, age an implacable foe, impulses pulling them away from comfort into distraction or catastrophe. In settings that range across the metropolitan and suburban Northeast, we follow their lives, alternately hilarious and tragic, as they refuse to go gently—even when they’re going nowhere fast. Relentlessly inventive, these eleven stories and novella prove yet again that David Gates is one of our most talented, witty and emotionally intelligent writers.