I have three short stories and a short rib recipe to share today. Instead of book reviews, I am giving a short summary. I would recommend all of these stories. The Optimist’s Daughter is my local book club’s January 2020 selection. It also has a title in red, so it will fulfill one of the requirements on a book challenge that you will hear about soon.
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
by Fredrik Backman. This is an emotional gut-wrencher about an elderly man who has lost his wife and is now trying to hold on to his memories, which are fading away day by day. His son and his beloved grandson struggle as they prepare to say good-bye. 97 pages.
Wrong Address, Right Guy
by Diane Kelly. This is a “meet-cute” about a woman who goes out with the blind date her next-door neighbor decides to dump. This is a very short, but fun modern-day romance. 29 pages.
The Optimist’s Daughter
by Eudora Welty. Another emotional story about Laurel McKelva Hand who travels from Chicago to New Orleans to be with her father for eye surgery. His silly and trite second wife accompanies her father. The father fails to recover and dies. Then Laurel and her step-mother must take the body back to Mississippi. In her childhood home, surrounded by life-long friends, Laurel must face the truths about her relationships with her parents, her relationship with her deceased husband, her parents’ relationship with each other and the bizarre relationship with her step-mother. There is a great deal of symbolism surrounding “vision” as both of Laurel’s parents had eye issues, visions of deceased people, and also of the lack of vision of her step-mother. The book is 180 pages long and won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction-winning short novel.