Grief is a visitor who comes to each of us differently, but our appointment with loss is inevitable. In her first novel, TORCH, Cheryl Strayed addresses this universal theme with skill and unflinching compassion by creating exceptionally believable characters.
At the heart of the novel is Teresa Rae Wood, only 38 years old when she receives her cancer sentence in Duluth, Minnesota. The impact of this news on her and her common-law husband Bruce emerges slowly, in prosaic detail: first dinner in a Chinese restaurant, then pulling over to the side of the road on the way back to their small-town life. "They said the word, but as if it were two words. Can. Sir. They had to say it slowly, di