Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Sweet Tooth

by Terry O'Brien from the January 19, 2015 issue

Natalie's life became a lot sweeter once Henry came back to town...

In a Nutshell
Natalie owns a chocolate and ice cream shop. An old flame walks in looking for a birthday gift for his sister. He confesses he had feelings for her back in high school.

This story is a textbook Old Flame story, like I describe in one of my "advanced" writing for Woman's World classes. I think the allure of these stories is that we all have memories of someone whom we admired from afar and it's fun to imagine that they had feelings for us too, but were too shy to say anything. It's sort of Cinderella retroactive in that of all the girls in high school, he noticed her. She stood out from the crowd. It also appeals because usually the guy thinks she was out of his league, and who among us wouldn't like to be considered out of someone's league?

I found myself hoping Henry was getting something for his sister besides truffles.

I enjoyed the marriage proposal "epilogue" at the end, but notice how our point of view drifts in and out. At the beginning, we are firmly in the narrator's pov, looking down upon Natalie's life. Then, we get much closer until we're inside Natalie's head, finding his dimples familiar and getting embarrassed about her babbling on. Near the end, we zoom out again for the last paragraph. It makes it feel a little like we've been sitting listening to a story, doesn't it?

Photo credit: By FASTILY (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Mary Ann said...

I agree that these types of stories are a favorite of Woman's World probably because we all fantasize that this could happen! Even if we're happily married, running into someone that would say, "I had the biggest crush on you in high school" is a real ego boost. I thought this story was very cute. However, I never believe that the characters, in this case they are supposed to be like 12 years out of school I think, wouldn't IMMEDIATELY recognize their high school crush. I mean, if the guy went bald, got heavier, lost a limb, I think you would still recognize him--in like a few seconds. Is that just me?

Betsi said...

Mary Ann, I ran into my high school boyfriend about 25 years after the last time we'd seen each other. Even though I was expecting him to be at the event, I had a hard time recognizing him. But 12 years after high school? Yeah, I wondered why she was having trouble. "Sweet" story, though.

Sandy Smith said...

Sounds like a cute story. I did not read this one. I read the stories from the first couple weeks of January. Will you be reviewing those, Kate?

Kate Willoughby said...

Unfortunately, I didn't get a couple of issues! :(

Oh wait. I did get Jan 12 (but nothing earlier than that). I will do that one next. Sorry!!

Pat said...

Kate, if you call the subscription service number in the magazine, they will send you the issues you are missing. They usually offer to extend my subscription but I insist I want the missing magazine.

I liked this story. Just fell in with the flow. I tend to suspend my disbelief and slip into the character's head.