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I too have gone through periods of life (during a too-long, unhappy marriage) when my female friends were my only source of intimacy. Now, happily married to my first true love, I find a sense of serenity in the trust and intimacy we share. Perhaps aging presents new opportunities for vast internal changes. I read this story looking back on a younger me with too-high expectations of friendship and loyalty issues. It made me glad to be where I am now, as Denise seems to be by the end of the story.
Beautiful subtlety, but I felt a bit cheated, since there's really a novel's worth here, I thought. As an aspiring writer myself, I particularly appreciated the comments sandwiched between the friendship competitions and the writing ones. Without the same dynamics, I, too, have a friendship of long standing with a woman who is also a writer. Fortunately, we never were in a position to have to vie for notice either from publishers or our men--there were such enormous differences between both! And, unlike Denise, we're both so old now, probably it would have made little difference if we had noticed anything so long ago.
I really appreciated Laura's generosity with this story which is more of a short novella, isn't it, and found myself completely engaged. When's her novel coming out???
Amazing, in the subtle way that Cheever was amazing. And human, just the same. Masterly.
After reading over the comments thus far, I hesitate to add a sour note. I wanted to like "Looters." But the story fell short of the quality I expect from Narrative.
One of the things that I like about the Story of the Week feature is that it mixes the works of established authors, new and emerging writers, and literary classics to provide a tapestry of encouragement. The works are varied in kind and in degree of achievement. All of them have something worthwhile. I think that as the weeks go by and more works are presented a very engaging picture will emerge -- one that has everything to say about the possibility and future of stories and audience online, and off.
Intriguing. Nicely done. While it's great to have a best friend, it's wise to branch out and surround oneself with a circle of good, supportive friends. Several women that I know have been betrayed by their so-called best friends. Interestingly enough, these are the same women who were always talking about them.