Monday, February 20, 2012

Reader's Diary #804- Kerry Clare: Georgia Coffee Star

I've been a casual follower of Kerry Clare's Pickle Me This blog for some time now, but I guess a bit too casual, as I somehow missed that she's also a writer of the non-blog variety. Thanks to Medea at Perogies & Gyoza for informing me via a glowing review of Clare's "Georgia Coffee Star," which was a winning entry in U of T Magazine's Alumni Short Story and Poetry contest way back in 2009.

"Georgia Coffee Star" is a gorgeously written story about a husband and wife winding up an Asian vacation in Japan. They're somewhat tired, physically and mentally, but that seems natural after a trip of such a magnitude. However, Clare very subtly starts to plant the idea that perhaps the exhaustion isn't all vacation related.

It was the subtlety that made me love this story so much. Thomas and Mo had booked a double room, but were given two twins instead. They were too grateful to have any beds to complain. It's the perfect setup for the story, maybe even the perfect symbol for the couple, but that's the mystery to be explored.

I was quite taken with the couple in "Georgia Coffee Star." The idea of a long term married couple as a unit is an old one, accepted, hardly challenged at all especially when the couple appears happy, and does things together, such as travel. While it's true two long time married people have to be different people than they were in their single life, and no doubt have found a way to be compatible, but it was nice to see the couple in Kerry Clare's story continuing to develop their own identities and idiosyncrasies. To a point. Is it possible to fall too deeply into oneself, even in a couple such as this? If the pieces of the proverbial unit are not constantly refitted, well, that's when trouble starts. Storms begin to brew.

I loved this story. Immensely.

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


Julie @ Read Handed said...

Sounds like a fantastic story. I'll have to check it out (and the author's blog!). I read a slightly longer flash fiction story today: "Man May Love".

Margot said...

It's been a while since I shared a Short Story Monday post. I picked a humorous Mark Twain story. You can find it here: Joyfully Retired

John, I like the sound of Georgia Coffee Star. It sounds like it will make me think - a lot.

Teddy Rose said...

I also read Medea's review last week and bookmarked to read.

I reviewed the Loose End short story collection:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That was such a fine story! So many perfect little details, describing the underlying hostility of this marriage. Thanks for showcasing this story!

Perogyo said...

I loved this story so much. I really hope Clare writes more, and more!

Melwyk said...

Really glad to hear you unabashedly loving a story -- that is high praise indeed! And, I also loved this story. I'd forgotten it -- I read it a while ago and thank you for a reminder to explore it again. (full disclaimer: I do follow Pickle Me This & admire Kerry)