Send Me

Patrick Ryan’s first work of fiction is written with such authority, grace, and wisdom, it might be the capstone of a distinguished literary career.

In the Florida of NASA launches, ranch houses, and sudden hurricanes, Teresa Kerrigan, ungrounded by two divorces, tries to hold her life together. But her ex-husbands linger in the background while her four children spin away to their own separate futures, each carrying the baggage of a complex family history. Matt serves as caretaker to the ailing father who abandoned him as a child, while his wild teenage sister, Karen, hides herself in marriage to a born-again salesman. Joe, a perpetual outsider, struggles with a private sibling rivalry that nearly derails him. And then there’s the youngest, Frankie, an endearing, eccentric sci-fi freak who’s been searching since childhood for intelligent life in the universe–and finds it.

Written with wry affection, and with compassion for every character in its pages, Send Me is a wholly original, haunting evocation of family love, loss, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

From the Hardcover edition.

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By Brandon (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★★★ · March 29, 2011
This tear-your-heart-out novel-in-stories-of-sorts uses pinpointed moments over decades (each a short story that is strong enough on its own) to show a splattered portrait of a family, focusing on how the accumulating years are derived from all those before, perfectly displaying how people find t... ...more
By Chris (Providence, RI) · ★★★★☆ · July 05, 2008
Only so much (or little) can be said about the Kerrigans. Teresa, a young mother to Matt and Karen, is abandoned by her husband, Dermot, a local bad boy with mob family ties. Soon thereafter, she marries Roy, and they have two boys, Joseph and Frankie. Feeling suffocated, Roy eventually leaves Te... ...more
By Christy (Cleveland, OH) · ★★★★☆ · July 29, 2008
Despite my recent renunciation of the Best American Short Stories series, I do have to credit BASS with my introduction to Patrick Ryan. The year before last's edition featured his short story "So Much for Artemis," which I liked so much I read it twice.

Send Me is a short story collection, and al... ...more
By Tal (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · September 07, 2007
This is an amazing novel, told from the POV of several members of the same family over the course of years, much like Cunningham's Flesh and Blood. It differs by being much lighter and funnier, while tackling similarly dark problems of the modern American family. The novel takes place on Merritt... ...more
By Robin (Jackson, MI) · ★★☆☆☆ · January 16, 2008
This book was recommended by my nephew, who had shared it with his English Lit class. They all enjoyed it. I can imagine that they felt some cconnection to the characters. I didn't, but that is perhaps because this novel is very contemporary. It's about a woman and her two husband's that eventual... ...more
By FSU (Tallahassee, FL) · November 03, 2014
Patrick Ryan (B.A. '87) ...more
By Hansa (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · March 25, 2009
In this excellent novel, a NASA photographer loses his job and goes a little crazy. The repercussions to him and his family linger over decades as kids grow up and screw up. I found I loved each character in this novel no matter how flawed. I would call it a dark literary investigation of the dar... ...more
By Dennis (Albuquerque, NM) · ★★★☆☆ · February 27, 2008
"If she isn't there when he gets home from work, if she pulls into the driveway long after she should have started preparing dinner, he asks where she's been, but he doesn't press for more information when she responds, 'On a drive. The sky was so beautiful today...'"

"And there'll be no arguing w... ...more
By Kilean (Durham, NC) · ★★★★☆ · June 04, 2008
A hard and sometimes bright look into an absurd, twisted and maybe even loving family. This novel gave me some deep belly laughs that made the sad bits even sadder. This writer's got a great voice and the more I think about the last chapter/section the more I like the book as a whole. If you're c... ...more
By Ed (The United States) · ★★★★★ · September 10, 2009
This is probably the best novel I've read in the last five years. If it seems a bit challenging at first, stick with it. None of the author's stylistic techniques are frivolous, as you'll see by the end, which is shattering. Like Lorrie Moore, old Margaret Atwood, Ethan Canin, and every author wh... ...more