Touch (Book - Cheryl Strayed) Cheryl Strayed's grave, lovely first novel, Torch begins as 38-year-old Teresa Wood, a small-town radio host, receives her death sentence: "The doctor didn't say cancer… Touch (Book - Cheryl Strayed) Cheryl Strayed's grave, lovely first novel, Torch begins as 38-year-old Teresa Wood, a small-town radio host, receives her death sentence: "The doctor didn't say cancer… 2006-02-01 Fiction Houghton Mifflin
Book Review

Torch (2006)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Feb 01, 2006; Writer: Cheryl Strayed; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Cheryl Strayed's grave, lovely first novel, Torch begins as 38-year-old Teresa Wood, a small-town radio host, receives her death sentence: ''The doctor didn't say cancer — at least she didn't hear him say it. She heard him say oranges and peas and radishes and ovaries and lungs and liver.'' Within weeks, Wood is dead and the fragile family she leaves behind — a common-law husband and two grief-stricken children — quickly falls apart. The book is structured like a formulaic women's tearjerker, but Strayed's cool potent writing, and sympathy for even appallingly flawed characters, help her transcend the category.

Originally posted Jan 27, 2006 Published in issue #861 Feb 03, 2006 Order article reprints