|About the Book|
Spanning the late 1980s into the new century, the linked tales in volume 2 of Jack Andrew Urquhart’s short story collection, So They Say, complete the Bildungsroman of southern-born protagonist Rex Fordham. “Little Mercies” finds Rex newly ‘out,’MoreSpanning the late 1980s into the new century, the linked tales in volume 2 of Jack Andrew Urquhart’s short story collection, So They Say, complete the Bildungsroman of southern-born protagonist Rex Fordham. “Little Mercies” finds Rex newly ‘out,’ divorced, and facing a career demotion. Yet, every now and then comes a ‘little mercy’ in the wilderness. Rex’s life in San Francisco and his early relationship with entrepreneur Rand Osmond are explored in three stories: “Big 4” charts the jaunt between intense physical attraction and a more substantive relationship- “Driver’s Seat” finds the men on the road to coupledom- but, will Rex’s detours into the failures of the past threaten the here and now? “What He Was Waiting For” joins Rex and Rand five years into their relationship—but, for Rex, the mystery of human engagement awaits revelation. Two stories, “Bread Pudding” and “Pas de Deux,” bring Rex’s Southern-Baptist-to-the-bone mother, Inez Fordham, back into the narrative as she confronts the troubling notion of non-traditional masculinity. Three stories set in France conclude the story cycle. In “You Regain Your Freedom” Rex and Rand are semi-retired and living temporarily in Paris. When Rand makes a solo trip to Bordeaux, a chance encounter reminds him that sometimes liberation lies in the act of loving—and in being loved. In the collection’s title story, “So They Say,” Rex struggles to cope following a major loss. Possibly in shock, perhaps experiencing hallucinations, Rex turns to Parisian friend Laurence for comfort. A visit from his son and daughter-in-law hastens Rex’s recovery. But when hallucination becomes reality, Rex faces a more difficult choice of engagement. “What Can’t Be Left Behind,” the final story, finds Rex preparing to return to the U.S. Yet, Rex is troubled by unfinished business. Some things are not easily left behind—or so they say.