Monday, May 09, 2011

Reader's Diary #711- Owen Wister: Mother

Looking for a Mother's Day story I Googled "Short Story" and "Mother" and found "Mother" by Owen Wister, the so-called "father of Western fiction." "Mother," however, is not a tale set in the wild west.

Richard Field and his wife Ethel are guests at a house party. As it is a party of mostly writer-types, each guest is expected to take a turn telling a story. Richard has been instructed to make his true and to make it about himself and an innocent girl as the respective hero and heroine.

There's an air of mystery and tense foreboding at first as Ethel wonders what the story will be. Richard will not tell her, however they come to an agreement that should Richard's tale embarrass her, Ethel may tell one of her own.

I enjoyed all this lead up but unfortunately the mood Wister so carefully established went by the wayside when the tale became one of business; buying and selling stocks, in particular. Perhaps some readers would be intrigued by this, but whenever talk turns to money and investing, my brain shuts down entirely. It's not a good thing and will probably result in my working into my late 80s, but I just couldn't invest my interest in Wister's story. Get it? Invest? Interest? Okay, so I'm bored. Oh and it had as almost as much to do with mothers as this post.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

8 comments:

Allison said...

Shame when a story starts out with such promise and then ends in a wash.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I couldn't get all the way through the story, I'll admit. I did find the number of pop-up ads to be rather telling though...

Julie @ Read Handed said...

I posted about a short story today, too. Also about mothers. If you get a chance, it is here.

carolsnotebook said...

Not the kind of story I thought Richard was going to tell based on the setup. It's a shame it was so boring.

My story today is odd. http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/short-story-monday-when-god-opens-a-door-by-tim-waggoner/

JoAnn said...

My mind shuts down when it comes to stocks and investment, too - good thing my husband actually enjoys that stuff.

I read Shirley Jackson this week:
http://lakesidemusing.blogspot.com/2011/05/night-we-all-had-grippe-by-shirley.html

Em said...

I'm back (well, hopefully)!
I have a lot of catching up to do, so I'm sure I will find a story more appealing than this one in the lot. Not that I need any more to be added to my to-be-read list...

Em
http://emeire.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/three-stories-by-jane-urquhart/

Loni said...

I was also uninterested with the story I read this week. I hope next week I find something more exciting.

http://loniseye.blogspot.com/2011/05/bring-forth-wonder-by-george-bowering.html

Teddy Rose said...

Boy, I was getting really interested in reading 'Mother', as I was reading your review. Too bad it didn't follow through. Stocks and investment are boring to me as well.

I read a good one, I would love to know your opinion of it: http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2011/05/stolpestad-by-william-lychack.html