By Michael J. Vowles.
Fractured Threads is a collection of ten interlinked short stories that follow the changing fortunes and relationships of several young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. From claustrophobic apartments to socially-distanced campuses, and the sunbaked freeways of Houston to the old growth forests of northern Wisconsin, these stories depict a lonesome, fractured age. Told in the yearning, neurotic voices of various twenty-somethings, the stories in Michael J. Vowles' debut title speak to a disrupted youth. Isolated one minute and overlapping the next, the lives of these characters bifurcate in unexpected ways as they attempt to make sense of the world around them.
In this collection...
An isolated girl living in the shadow of her pedestalized twin sister dares to find happiness when she starts college. The relationship of an isolating couple is pushed to the brink during a sleepless night with a broken air conditioner. Two strangers desperate for a distraction from the pandemic meet for a date they both know can never lead to anything more. A difficult family reunion at a lakeside cabin sees a new boyfriend wrestling with the ghost of an old one. A travel nurse trying to outrun a trauma meets with hope and despair after moving to a small city in the Rocky Mountains. And much more.
At times poignant and sensual, at others existential and sardonic, Fractured Threads can be read as either ten separate tales or as a single narrative of human connection.