No Twist Required
This is the best short piece of fiction I've seen so far from this writer. Everything is in place: voice, character, setting. The writing is crisp, yet atmospheric. The choice of a first-person dramatized narrator gives the reader the plot and the essentials of the central character with the utmost economy. There are clues sprinkled through the text - the shit-kicker boots, the narrator's occupation, the throwaway sexual liaison and the way the narrator describes it. Then there are the 'voices'. In a sense, the twist at the end of this particular tale has an inevitability about it that makes it a muted surprise, if it is a surprise at all. That's where the quality of the writing tells. With story-telling like this you don't need the twist.Read the story now
This is a very well contrived piece. The tantalizingly misleading (or so it seems) title undergoes subtle shifts of relevance as the narrative unfolds. The voice of the first person dramatized narrator is most convincing, as is the self-consciousness of the narrator herself. The reasoned selfishness shown here also convinces.
The writing itself is good and certain lines sing in the memory: in the opening sentence the sunlight is decribed as a trespasser in the narator's darkened room - a fine vocabulary choice. Further on in the story the narrator describes her mother as "withering away from us". It is the choice of preposition that creates the effect here. All in all, this is a story that succeeds at every level for this reader.
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