Life’s private reflections, big and small, shape and define the characters in Eliot Treichel’s debut short story collection. Rural Wisconsin—the lonely, aching expanse of quiet isolation—doubles as a metaphor for the characters who yearn for a closeness in personal relationships that is just out of grasp. A rivalry between lumberjacks reaches a sticky end. A man’s substandard work on his house mirrors his halfhearted attempt to fix his marriage. A little girl’s valorous rescue of mice is lost on her unsentimental father. High school soccer teams, bear cubs, dog sledding—all are masterfully woven together in a landscape that becomes a character in itself. Treichel expertly captures the voice of the individual, allowing any individual, anywhere, who has felt the inescapable pangs of loneliness, to connect to his characters’ aching hearts and quiet plights.