Monday, May 25, 2009

Some Enchanted Afternoon

by Joyce Soule from the May 25, 2009 issue.

Tagline: Alayne realized that magic was everywhere. She just had to let it into her life again.

In a Nutshell: Alayne is a widow trying to get her life back on track. She visits a bookstore looking for information on France, a place she'd always wanted to visit. There she meets a French widower on vacation himself. They strike up a friendship.

Observations: Usually, I read and analyze the story, then write my observations. This week, I'm going to try something new and do a sort of running commentary on the story as I read. Here we go:

Oh, the story is set at a bookstore. Bookstores are one of my favorite places. And she's doing that park far away from your destination thing so you get more exercise. I've done that. This helps me connect with the character.

In the bookstore, she went to the travel section to look for guides to France, then grabbed a copy of Paris Match magazine and walked back to the cafe section of the store where the comfy chairs beckoned.

Hmm. It kind of bothers me that she apparently intends to just read the books and magazine without paying for them. At least she buys a drink.

Soule does a good job of making the man sound foreign.

At one point, Alayne flounders a little in trying to think of what to say next, and I feel for her. Haven't we all struggled through an awkward pause at least once in our lives?

The last line in the story is,"My name is Alayne. Now how do you say that in French?"

Alayne took French in college, but she doesn't remember how to say, "My name is Alayne?" Sheesh. Here at the end she appears (to me) to be either not so smart, or connivingly coy.

So, even though Alayne grows as a character, taking the first steps in leaving mourning behind, I personally found her somewhat unlikeable. I think Denis, the love interest, could do better.

Woman's World Standbys: A widow and widower, moving on

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