As she often does, in her latest story “The Resurrections” published at Terrain, Heather E. Goodman writes about complicated relationships that are real, gritty, honest. Her characters muck around in each other’s hearts and on the land, aiming for grace, yearning to be understood, seeking forgiveness and sometimes getting it. There’s palpable tenderness rising up out of this hardscrabble life etched by a series of deaths.
The narrator grieves the death of his wife Elna, of his father, of the business he and his father built together, of his youth and the loss of a young man’s full life. “The Resurrections” isn’t a long story, but it’s stitching is both intricate and simple, giving the impression that Goodman knows exactly what it’s like to be a grieving widower, an older man on a threshold between a past he can’t do anything about and the awakening knowledge that he’s got enough life left in him to hope for the future.
Goodman’s prose is spare, always, and prismed here with the flinty winter landscape and a friendship that resolves to thaw itself nonetheless. Even the animals have agency and longing, evident in the hound dog Beagle who can’t seem to help digging up his dead friend Smokey, a cat.
Delicious fiction. Read it. It’s the sort of story you’ll carry with you.