In A Box of Matches, however, Baker strikes a note of urgency that is new for him. As he enters middle age, Baker, like his narrator Emmett, seems to sense that life is largely a mourning process. No sooner have we overcome the loss of parents or grandparents than we notice that our children are slipping through our fingers before we have had sufficient time to rivet our eyes on them and fully appreciate their uniqueness. By the end of the book, one realizes that Emmett’s groping in the predawn darkness for the coffeepot is a metaphor for how we all stumble through our lives in the darkness, groping from one landmark to the next to find our way. Baker is desperately trying to communicate a message to us before it’s too late. Those little joys of existence involving the humdrum routines of daily interaction with spouse, children, and friends contain the essence of our lives. If we blink, we may miss them.