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The opening section, "Warring Parties," introduces such characters as Emily and Anthony, a homicidal student and her inadequate teacher; Joshua and Josie, heroin addicts in Wellfleet; and Joe and Meg, a pair of born-again Christians dealing with abortion, adultery, and hopelessness in small-town Louisiana. The next section, "Fathers and Sons," dramatizes the emotional conflict in a middle-class family between an indifferent father and an angry son. And the emotional center of this book, "An Uncertain Hour," takes the reader through an almost unbearable tragedy and yet shows, in the end, glimpses of resolution, hope and strength.
Sure to be controversial, these are tough, emotionally powerful poems -- at times deeply disturbing, at times strangely humourous -- but always honest, open and real.