Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Kincaid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kincaid. Show all posts

25 November, 2011

Nanci Kincaid, "Snakes"

"Snakes" told from the viewpoint of Bethie in first-person POV and we see the unraveling of a marriage dragging five children along with it. When the story

begins, Bethie is five years old and the story continues until she is fourteen. Snakes are a thematic continuum beginning with rattlesnakes and ending with a harmless black garden snake. The mother goes through some kind of depression and / or general unhappiness with her husband who does not seem to be too involved or he has pressure to earn money and works too many hours. At one point, a housekeeper / babysitter comments that the father probably has mistresses but that never seems to be the case. I think the mother had post-partem after she gave birth to twins giving her five children under the age of ten to take care of virtually by herself.

I liked this story and thought it was put together nicely in terms of plot, character development and suspense. Kincaid did a delicate and deft job of showing the trouble in the marriage through the eyes of a five, ten, and fourteen year old girl, the narrator.

"Snakes" is the first story in Kincaid's collection, Pretending the Bed is a Raft.

about Pretending the Bed is a Raft