Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Gift of Gabby

by Mary Ann Joyce from the May 13, 2024 issue

Tagline: As a surprise Mother's Day gift, Gabby set her mom, Tess, up with the handsome owner of a fix-it shop...and their fix-up soon turns into true love.

Observations: I loved this story. It has all the hallmarks of a classic, well-done Woman's World romance. I'd expect nothing less from Mary Ann Joyce.

Note the three act structure. In the first act, we meet Tess and her daughter, Gabby, the librarian. We get a little background on Jim. We find out Tess is having dishwasher trouble. It's almost Mother's Day. 

In the second act, we meet Jim and see what he looks like. We see them being easy with each other, despite Jim being nervous about his presentation. There's a brief "telling not showing" paragraph about their conversation and how they both like to keep busy. We also find out he's a widower. 

Act three, the class goes off without a hitch. It's discovered that, unbeknownst to the two of them, daughter Gabby set them up, promising Tess would help him with the class if he came and fixed her dishwasher. There's a very brief black moment when Tess tells him he's obviously not obligated to follow through, but never fear--Jim is smitten. 

I also loved the humor about the cat...

"She bought me the Alexa device so it wouldn't be so quiet all the time. It's wonderful and it fills my house with music!"

"My son got me a cat named Oscar," Jim said. "He fills my house with hair."

Cute punny title too. 

Photo by Dylan Foley via Flickr CCL


Pat said...

Kate, thanks for pointing out all the writing elements in this story.

I loved, loved, loved this story. Best one ever for all the reasons you mentioned. Great premise, wonderful writing, awesome characters pulled me in for a stupendous read. I knew when I saw Mary Ann Joyce that I expected a good story and she surpassed my expectations.

Sandy Smith said...

This was a great story. Thanks for pointing out the structure. Those critiques are helpful to me as I try to write my stories.

Mary Ann Joyce said...

Thanks for the kind words! I had a lot of fun writing this story!