Lucky Girls

Freudenberger, Nell. Lucky Girls: Stories. New York: Harper Collins, 2013.

Reason read: June is National Short Story month

“The Orphan”
This is the short story of a family splintering in different directions. The parents are separated and on the verge of getting a divorce. The nearly adult children are in Thailand and Bangor, Maine – worlds apart from one another. When the family converges in Bangkok it is an orphan that shifts the tide for them all, individually and as a family.
I can’t decide if I like Alice or not. As a mother, what should she have done when her kid calls up and says not only has she been assaulted, but raped as well? That’s not the sort of thing you let drop when the kid suddenly changes her story and says it’s no big deal.
Lines I liked, “She drops the dog, possibly robbing him mother of his life” (p 31) and “…often, when you step around the conventional way of doing things, you end up with something worse” (p 56).

“Outside the Eastern Gates”
The protagonist in “Outside the Eastern Gate” is like any 40 year old person facing the deteriorating aging of a parent. There is a sense of bafflement at the role reversal; a sense of sadness about being away for so long. Upon returning to Delhi she remembers the desperate longing for her mother’s love while simultaneously coping with her father’s Alzheimer diagnosis.
A line to like, “The bogeyman appears in the first forty seconds after nightfall” (p 68). Good to know.

As an aside, did you see Jimmy Fallon’s tribute to Prince (otherwise known as the ping pong story)? Now, whenever anyone mentions ping pong (as was mentioned in “Outside the Eastern Gate”) I will think of the last line of Jimmy’s story, “Ask your boy.”

Author fact: Feudenberger has taught English in Bangkok and New Delhi.

Book trivia: Lucky Girls is Feudenberger’s first book.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).

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