Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Wedding Wager by Shelley Cooper

June 20, 2016 issue

Tagline: Erin thought the spark she'd carried for Erik was dead...until she saw him again!

Observations: I'm going to do a stream-of-consciousness critique this week. I haven't done one of those in a while. This is where I just tell you my thoughts as I read the story. I hope the thoughts I have end up being good ones. LOL

Aww, they're childhood friends who went to summer camp together. I hated summer camp and only went once. I think it might have been a weekend and it was the most miserable weekend of my life. However, I'm well able to imagine that other people had a fantastic time, like in The Parent Trap (new version. <--one evah.="" favorite="" movies="" my="" nbsp="" of="" p="" very="">
Having your wedding at your old summer camp is a very quaint setting. I hope there's more meaning to this location.

OMG I love that she got the root beer float to share with her new friend. That's so sweet. Love that.

Planning futures with boy, can I identify with that. I used to write love letters in my diary to Rudy Baldoni who lived across the street from my dad's house. He was so out of my league it wasn't even funny.

Okay, LMAO. "It's been ten years, Mel. That spark is deader than the campfires we used to sing around."  Hilarious.

Oh! This is great. "Bet you a dollar, if you stir those ashes, you'll find an ember still burning." This is beautiful. It not only brings back their original bet to climb the rope, it connects with her spark metaphor. Awesome. This is the stuff that makes a story nice and tight.

Erik still hasn't shown. This is a Woman's World black moment. The point in the story where you are worried there's not going to be a happy ending. Usually in Woman's World, the worry is not very urgent or dire. Sometimes it's barely even noticable.

Erik arrives, finally! I love this moment, but I wish she'd elaborated more on what he looked like now and what that sight does to her insides.

Hm. The invitation to go for a walk seemed abrupt. I would have smoothed this out a little had it been my story.

They've just gone on their walk and he takes her hand and says he wants to get reacquainted and I'm feeling a little lukewarm. The story was going great and then it sort of lost steam for me. I am not feeling the attraction. Erik seems monochromatic to me. There's no life to him, no personality.

I'm finished with the story. I LOVED the friendship between Melody and Erin. I wish I had felt the same connection with Erik. He just felt flat for me. However, the whole bet motif was fabulous.

Photo credit: David Morse via Flickr Creative Commons License


Mary Jo said...

I believe this story was from the June 20th issue of WW, wasn't it, Kate? I have to agree that the real romance here was the girlhood friendship between the two young women. The Erik character must have resided mainly in the writer's head because he did not come forth much on the page. Now if he was like my nephew Erik: 6'5", sparkling blue eyes, dark hair and VanDyke beard, you better believe she would have been fanning herself even in the cool night air.

Still another familiar name in the by-line. This is a lovely market to break into, ladies, so don't give up hope.

Pat said...

I loved this story, but then I was a camp director for 6 years and loved camping, reunions, etc. I probably saw this as the romance I believed it to be. I will go back and look at your comments vs. the story though.

Tamara said...

My problem with Erik was that he was so straightforward. I would like for him to have been flirty and not so direct ("I want to get reacquainted"), which felt unrealistic and unromantic to me. Otherwise, I thought the premise of the story was good and well-written, as always.

Shyra said...

I liked this story. One of my favorite parts was the last sentence: "And, two summers later, Melody won her second bet." It's nice to know what happens after a Woman's World romance ends.

Sandy Smith said...

I just got a chance today to read this story. I thought it was cute and I also enjoyed the ending. I agree the character of Eric could have been developed a bit more, but I really did enjoy it.