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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Epic, lyrical, and filled with filmic characters, The Vanishing Moon is an extraordinary portrait of a three generations in a 20th-century American family. Coulson's three narrators provide readers with a deep understanding of each member of the Tollman clan, following them as time marches on and seminal events in American history unfold.
Opening in Cleveland at the advent of the Depression, Stephen, the first narrator, recounts the loss of his father's job that forced his family's move from their home to a tent with no electricity or running water. The second section, in the voice of a woman in whom Stephen holds a romantic interest, focuses on Stephen and his older brother as they become young men and set out into the world, falling in love and making choices that will define the rest of their lives. The third narrator, Stephen's nephew, describes the two brothers as middle-aged men upon whom life has borne down.
Coulson unravels the story of the Tollmans with an acute understanding that one can never escape the past, that our minds are filled with "images that return to us again and again…forming a pool of doubt that swells over time and weighs heavily on what we think and feel." The Tollman brothers, sadly, are unable to escape their past; neither, suggests Coulson in his remarkable debut, can we. (Winter/Spring 2004 Selection)