A couple, burdened by guilt and anger, rent a cabin on Martha's Vineyard one summer. Here, the husband, Doug, is eager to atone, hoping to salvage his marriage, but his wife is quick, and right, to point out that a "marriage is made up of moments," and each one counts in the life of a marriage. And in this cabin, Doug is given the odd chance of proving himself to his wife, a chance to make her appreciate him again.
I really liked this idea of moments, of those very things that make or break a relationship: the moment you do something, right or wrong, and the moment that such things are found out. There are always secrets we keep, and in this story, we see two secrets, one more innocuous than the other but just as profound in its effect on the marriage. So, will this man prove himself and win his wife back?
This is maybe a forty-minute read, but it's one of those stories that's more complex than it seems at first. It seems only to be a simple story about a man trying to kill a rat, but it's more than that. I'm usually not one to feel any sympathy for a guy like Doug, but the author wrote this character in such an honest, and even in an almost endearing way, that I found myself liking him and hoping he did soften Ellen's anger. He's every man who's had a bad moment and hopes to make a wrong right. A very nicely written short story that's both simple and complex in what it presents, and skillfully told in an easy but smart voice.