By Henry Coates
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We spent our Good Friday evening much like those first Easter women – full of questions, sullen with heartache, and trying to make sense of what had happened.

Rev. Henry “Bud” Caine has celebrated Easter every year surrounded by the traditions of his mother’s faith. Now, on this particular Easter, after reflecting on the relationships he’s had—and lost—over the last 28 years, he puts his Christian heritage on trial by asking the most painful questions he has ever asked.

Told in a quartet of voices, Easter is a somber reflection on faith and life. George, Bud’s younger brother, finds a reflection of his own fractured mind in the splintered America of the 1950s and 1960s. Karl, Bud’s brother-in-law, finds himself haunted every day by his mother’s death when he was eight years old. Andy, Bud’s childhood friend, tries to find space for himself in his father’s religion. Confused, abandoned, and bullied by the Church, all four men struggle to find an adult faith that answers their needs. As Bud confronts an Easter with a remote God and distant salvation, he searches for hope and resurrection in the life before him. A warm and intimate exploration of religion, America, family, and friends, Easter reminds us that the only life we have is the moment we are in, and embracing such a truth is itself a celebration of life

About the Author

In 1954, when he was six, H. B. Coates was hit by a truck and died. His mother made a Hannah-like promise to God that, if he were revived, she would devote his life to the Lord. Coates did survive and, honoring his mother’s vow, he became a Lutheran minister. But when his Christian faith was unable to provide answers for those he lost to suicide, Coates resigned from the clergy and found a new road in life.

A middle school social studies teacher, Coates still continues to substitute teach at 70. He has been married to his wife, Denise, for 48 years. They live in Oregon and enjoy hiking the Cascades. They love to watch their grandchildren play basketball, baseball, and soccer.

With respect for his Christian faith, and with respect for those in his family who have chosen to complete suicide—respect for both, but unable to reconcile the two—Coates wrote this novel

Published: 2019
Page Count: 332