Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 Fiction Review   



Cage's Bend
By Carter Coleman
Warner Books, 2005
Hardcover, $24.95 (383 pages)
ISBN: 0-446-57661-1

Cage's Bend is about the underside of family life -- the competitions, betrayals, and resentments -- that build up during childhood and come to a head during adolescence. 

Franklin Rutledge and his wife, Margaret Cage, like most members of their generation (the generation between World War II and Vietnam), have worked hard and sacrificed for their three sons. Franklin, an Episcopal minister, never expected to be the father of three. He anticipated earning his Ph.D. and becoming a bishop, while his wife took care of their children, managed their personal life, and applied her hobbies within the context of church life. 

Their three sons are a study in contrasts. Cage and Nick, born within eleven months of one another, learn to compete immediately. Cage is athletic, smart, handsome, adventurous, seemingly destined for greatness. Nick is quieter and less intense. Harper, ten years younger, watches both brothers with great interest, hoping to be included. 

When Nick dies in a car accident, each member of the family attempts to cope with grief. None more than Cage, who feels somehow responsible for the accident, as he was the last person to talk with Nick before his death. 

Told in the alternating voices of Cage, Harper, Franklin, and Margaret, Cage's Bend spans three decades, moving between past and present. 

Carter Coleman, who grew up in Tennessee and Louisiana, now lives in London.

The author of the novel, The Volunteer, he's also published articles in Outside, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Financial Times

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

2005, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved