When I woke up in the hospital, they told me my girlfriend had been killed. She wasn’t my girlfriend, but I didn’t correct them. The first weeks were a confusion of morphine and fluorescent strip lighting. A scrubs-clad stranger told me I wouldn’t walk again. She said something about a wheelchair and I said I preferred crutches, still not understanding.
This is not the tale of redemption and hope one would expect. In this bold work of fiction, Jarred McGinnis is a man whose life has been hedonistic, downright self-destructive, filled with reckless decisions and driven by anger at the world. Until a car accident one night. When he wakes up, it’s to discover he will never walk again.
Looking like a ‘giant roller-skate’ with neither money nor job, he’s forced to move in with the father he hasn’t spoken to in ten years. It soon becomes obvious that the wheelchair is the least of his problems as he looks back over his past – the tragedy that blasted his family apart, why he ran away, the damage he’s caused himself and others – and starts to wonder whether, maybe, things don’t always have to stay broken after all. The Coward is about hurt and forgiveness. And it’s about how we write and rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our lives – and try to find a happy ending.
The Coward is a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to come to terms with a broken body, rebuild a broken relationship and find love when it seems like there is no hope.