Saturday, October 19, 2013

This Close by Jessica Francis Kane

This Close; Stories by Jessica Francis Kane

Every Saturday I read a short story.  I have spent the last few months reading a story a week out of This Close.  There are twelve short stories, told with a bit of heartache and tenderness.  Some of the stories are connected and others stand alone.  Kane's stories are snapshots that bring you up close and personal as the reader looks into the windows of people's lives.

We come this close to happiness, love and death on a daily basis.  The stories of This Close are the chance meetings, close calls, wrong turns, small choices made that change the course of your day and the  vivid moments of a life lived.  This Close is about the parts of the story you may not recall because you are too close to it.  Time gives you perspective and so does Jessica Francis Kane in her collection of stories.

One of the more memorable stories for me is called American Lawn; of a lady who lets an immigrant make a garden out of her back yard.  They forge an awkward friendship.  Another storyline that touched me is the story of Maryanne and her son, Mike.  These two characters stories intersect and collide and they are in more than one story.  Double Take is about Mike's college roommate, Ben who takes a road trip when he can't shake his misery after Mike's death.  Ben drives across the country to visit Maryanne.

I have a new found appreciation for short stories and short story writers.  The art of the short story is hard to master and Kane is a master.  This Close is a collection of short stories about family, connections, love, death and the day to day routines of a living a life.  This Close definitely has a story you can connect to.