Unsettled from a divorce, a man struggles to put his life back together and find happiness again in Geoff Sease’s When We Push Through Sound.
Tristan and Sharon have been divorced “three years, four months and a couple of weeks,” and remain friendly, sharing custody of their 17-year-old daughter, Sara. But Tristan, “an unhappy workaholic,” still dreams of Sharon and has yet to start dating again.
Then one morning at his regular stop at the Donut Whole, the usual flirtation with the “young, carefree, artistic, daring and beautiful” Julie leads to a date. Meanwhile, the Chicago firm where Tristan works as a commodities trader hosts an after-hours dinner-and-drinks event, and he meets Beth, an advertising exec. The two fall naturally into conversation and Tristan feels an immediate connection.
But while romantic possibilities brighten his life, his world is also shadowed by potentially disastrous news as China and the U.S. hammer out trade agreements. At risk is $75 million Tristan has invested in the metals market. Tristan is buoyed by the women – ex-wife, daughter, lover, friend, assistant – who support, love and depend on him, but nonetheless, when bad news comes, he alone must decide how to respond.
Sease writes with a natural style, offering the occasional lyrical turn, such as the opening scene in which Sharon falls from a roof: “Her sudden drop catches [her] red scarf by surprise, and it loses its grip around her neck, fluttering under the breeze one last time…I sit alone on the vast, empty roof, searching for my shadows.”
Tristan’s relationships outside of work provide interesting subplots countering his cut-throat job and opening the door to a happy ending. However, as it turns out, the ending is confusing, unexpected and even uncertain, raising questions about why the author chose the unnecessary complications.
The surprising last chapters aside, this is a satisfying read that will appeal to those who appreciate a leisurely-paced tale of friendship, romance and the risky investment world.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.