Stolar, Daniel. The Middle of the Night. New York: Picador, 2003.
Reason read: last series of short stories in honor of June being short story month.
Nancy Pearl drew attention to only two stories within The Middle of the Night by Daniel Stolar, “Jack Landers is My Friend” and “Marriage Lessons” so those will be the only two stories I review here.
Jack Landers is My Friend – a coming of age story told from the now-adult Jack Landers. He has a sad tale about growing up not quite fitting in anywhere. Jewish geek not quite athletic enough for the two spot minimum. He has always been too shy to stand up for himself even when the girl of his dreams is right in front of him. This could be the quintessential “the girl who got away” story but, fear not, there is triumph as well.
Marriage Lessons – a young woman faces losing her mother to cancer, getting married and finding the father she never knew. Each monumental event brings her closer to understanding her own issues with trust and what it means to let go. Best line, “I knew that I had cut him deep, had made him strike out and, almost in exasperation, counter my venom with some of his own” (p 146).
Author fact: Stolar is a Harvard graduate.
Book trivia: there are eight short stories within The Middle of the Night.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 103).