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3.0 out of 5 starsToo little too late
Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2018
Why is it that we often learn the most important lessons too late to benefit from the knowledge gained? Had the man in the story ever listened to what his wife was trying to tell him, perhaps she would never have left. Maybe he wasn't ready to hear it, but now he is beginning to understand: now he knows what it really means to be lonely. Having opened himself to this understanding perhaps he can also be open to moving forward with his life. Tonight may have been the beginning of his healing.
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2012
This short story drew me in and grounded me with rich, sensual detail. And then it drew me further in, past the senses, to the mind of the narrator and the essence of his struggle to come to terms with himself on his own after his children have grown and his wife has left him. I loved the connection to the Steven's poem 'Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour' -- to me it was as a metaphor of mind/imagination vs. reality, or how we imagined life in our youth vs. the result after having experienced it when we are older. And in the end, "being there together is enough." In his case, I suppose it meant that mind/imagination and reality had finally met up within him.
Whatever it means, just read it as it's quite an enjoyable read!
You'd think a story of a marriage that ended unilaterally after all those years would be terribly sad. There's a bit of melancholy here but the story's far from depressing. It's a little slice of life, a snippet. I would call it very broad and not very wide: what I mean is, I felt like I knew the main character very well at that moment in time; better than I've known protagonists of much longer works. But we readers don't really know much about him because we don't know who he will be or how he will react in another minute or to another circumstance. Those things are the work of a novel, not of a story. I think "First Light" works about perfectly.
3.0 out of 5 starsA well written story about a really boring guy
Reviewed in the United States on January 15, 2013
The story is really well written, but is it a story you really want to read ? It is about a fellow whose wife has left him a few years ago. The fellow's main pursuit in life, after his retirement is to sit in his back room and read books. His wife wanted more out the relationship than that. She tried to talk to him many times. On her last attempt, he asks her to come out to the back room to discuss this again. A day or so later she leaves - no wonder ! He gets lonely. No wonder. His daughter finds a date for him. He apparently doesn't even have the initiative to do even that for himself. The story mercifully ends after 16 pages. Unfortunately, there are probably a lot of men in the USA like him.
3.0 out of 5 starsThe main character reflects on divorce & relationships
Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2019
This short story isn’t the most scintillating piece of fiction, but it’s a nice glimpse into the experiences and thoughts of an older man meeting a possible new romantic interest, while also thinking back over how his marriage ended.
5.0 out of 5 starsPowerful, resonant story about the cauterized shocks of midlife
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2012
The prose is densely wound here; each sentence carries a freight of many years and I found myself slowing my reading pace down to match it. One of the most powerful quotes for me was this one: "If you're to be honest, you have to begin doubting that you ever loved an actual person. ...I am no longer angry at her for ceasing to love me; I am angry she found out before I did."
For those who find this story to be about too little, or not uplifting: come back to it later, when you're older, and can relate to the narrator's losses.
5.0 out of 5 starsWell written short about aging, selfishness and priorities
Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2012
This was a great short story, although I am partial to shorts anyway as they can pack a wallop without endless words. I am in an age group that can probably most understand this short about a man in the sunset of his life who ends up alone and not by choice. Actually, he did have a choice at one time but spent too many years focusing on himself and not his marriage or family. A good lesson here, even if one was not intended.This is the first piece I have read by this author but will be looking for more. Author of Widows Like Me.
There comes a time in life that me must understand that we are, indeed, alone, whether or not we share a life with another. It is then that we must make the decision if it is worth the trouble involved to pursue another relationship.or to enjoy our solitude , particularly if we have forged our own condition over the years.
This is a deep, thought provoking, short story that has been beautifully written. Well worth the time and money!!!
I loved this shortstory! Mark Pothier has a way of writing which is so precisely yet very quiet, uneventful but keeping your attention. With rich and complex detail he describes the protagonist who seems somewhat lost in hos life. Honestly - I cherished each word! This book is not for the fastfood lover, but the gourmet ;-)