‘Shot of Short’ #42: Broken Star by Jennifer Haigh

Title: Broken Star by Jennifer Haigh
Date Read: 07 August 2009
Available Online?: YES (as one of the stories posted by Harper Perennial on their website Fifty-Two Stories, which promises a new (or classic) short story from their collection, posted every week throughout 2009).
Briefly: Regina’s aunt Melanie, and cousin Tilly come to stay at the farmstead, bringing with them a change to the regimented and humdrum life on the farm.
Afterthoughts: Part coming-of-age, part family portrait, I have to admit to having a bit of a problem with this story. Sure it’s well written, very well written, but it didn’t engage me, and that’s got to be more down to taste than anything else. I did feel that the story’s resonance and subject matter made it more suited to the female reader, so maybe that’s the problem right there for me? Because it certainly wasn’t Haigh’s ability to pen a story, and it would be unfair to blame my lethargic reaction to this story on the author.
Notable Quote: “You don’t remember me, do you? You were so little when I left.” Melanie climbed into the front seat of our station wagon, next to my father. This was my mother’s usual place, surrendered out of courtesy since Melanie was a guest. She had arrived with her stepdaughter Tilly on the Greyhound bus from Pensacola, Florida. Tilly, who was eight, shared the backseat with me and my mother.”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Story read as part of my 100 Shots of Short reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).