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In a striking first collection of stories, Brent van Staalduinen leads the reader through tales that echo with loss and redemption, discovery and fear, tumult and victory. Where three young children create a Christmas in July for their bedridden mother, a military wife tries to help her son answer lifes toughest questions, a homeless man convicts an entire church congregation of their prejudices, and a baby cries in the midnight hold of a smuggling ship. A boy discovers the magic in Union Station while a terminally ill girl finds magic in laughter.From the title piece, A Cool Indian Name, which explores the dark remnants of abuse in a residential school and the limits of friendship, to Buddys Mirror, where a medic sent on an ill-fated peacekeeping mission is forced to ask how far he will go to protect those under his care, van Staalduinens fictions force us into difficult places and situations and, afterwards, demand we account for ourselves.

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