- File Size: 4076 KB
- Print Length: 33 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Tsubaki Press (October 9, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 9, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075PZB6KJ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,081 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
What Friends Are For: A Short Story (Crossing The Divide Short Story Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
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The Girl Who Was Buried in Her Ball Gown: One evening of disaster, begins a trail of regretful consequence
It’s a total surprise when Kate, the beautiful and well-off mother of another daycare child, Corbin, invites her out for a shopping trip. Kate stops to chat with everyone, buys an expensive bottle of perfume for Tracey’s otherwise disappointing twenty-first birthday, then leaves her to supervise both kids. She bickers when she sees chocolate all over Corbin’s face and reprimands Tracey for smoking. With Hayley screaming on account of a dirty nappy, Tracey finally flies off the handle and insists on going home rather than accepting Kate’s invitation to lunch.
Suddenly, Kate breaks down sobbing, confesses she has no real friend with whom she can be honest, and announces her husband has been cheating on her.
Two lonely young mothers – one rich, beautiful and pious, the other poor, foul-mouthed and worn out – finally meet heart-to-heart and are able to empathise.
This engaging short story is a clever character study of two very different women. It’s a sad but perceptive exposure of rich, hypocritical, arrogant ‘churchy types … who live for gossip and the petty failings of others’ and spank their children in public for minor demeanors, contrasted with the brazen honesty and loving faithfulness shown by the rather coarse, hardworking poor. The book ends abruptly.
I was given a copy of this book with a request to write an honest review.
JB Reynolds creates two extremely different female characters and shows us that life isn’t perfect nor is life terrible despite what we may see on the outside. Tracy is a hardworking 21-year old mother who lives with her boyfriend and daughter Haley. They are barely getting by. Kate is a stay at home mother married to a perfect husband son Corbin. They appear to have it all.
Through the course of the story we get a better glimpse of these two women and their respective lives and it’s a cleverly written slice of life. JB uses the background (a New Zealand small town) of a gray day to showcase the mood of the story; he creates enough of a background so that you can feel the mood of the piece from just the setting alone. At first I was a little worried about the New Zealand English he uses for the main character Tracy, however I quickly got passed that and it became part of her character and became charming and rich with style.
For a short story I felt this had everything I was looking for including a nice ending.
Definitely worth the read.
Also like Reynolds always does, the story if full of brilliant and darkly funny turns of phrase, like the protagonist Tracy speaking of her well-to-do new "friend," Kate: "She kinda reminds me of a Barbie doll, only more Presbyterian," and "I guess we must've crossed some kinda intimacy threshold, like junkies do when they shoot up, but instead of needles we're sharing perfume testers." The text is full of gems like these that make me do a double-take and bring a smile to my lips.
JB Reynolds is a fine craftsman of short stories, and his "What Friends Are For" is probably the best so far in his Crossing the Divide series.