A young girl and her family accompany their housepainter father on a trip to collect his wages from a slow-paying customer, and encounter surprising consequences. Winner of Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest 2007, Honorable Mention
After reading Ino’s Love, I knew I would enjoy this one, and indeed I did. The only thing that comes to mind that I didn’t like was that it’s too short. The story itself is self-contained in the coves, but there are questions which I’d love to see answers to. (Perhaps, since this is listed as book 1, there are more to come?)
The world building is handled with care, and provides such exquisite detail that as a reader, you are taken back to the 1960’s and dropped off for the duration. The sights, sounds, and almost even the smells come to life as you read through this tale.
The characters are seen primarily through the eyes of the eldest child, yet they all have a depth and complexity I don’t usually find in short stories with the complexity of world building Marianne managed to do. The process is handled hand-in-hand with the world building, and I think, is part of why the story is so captivating.
The pacing is handled just as well – a perfect feel for the era, and it builds the tension between the family and the client to a tingly peak. When everything resolves, it’s like hearing the rain start after waiting through the still air and heavy feeling of the storm building. You know it’s coming, the question is left to when it will break.
Overall, this is a wonderful story. I’d love to give it the well deserved five out of five, but the format doesn’t do it justice in my opinion, so I’ll go with a four out of five stars. Where’s the next installment?