That post title is entirely made up, but since I don’t have a great review planned, I thought that I’d share a fun passage from one of the books that I’m reading. Right now, I’m reading short stories from one of Joyce Carol Oates’s books called The Female of the Species. One of the things I love about Oates is how perfectly she captures the voices of the different characters in her work. Here’s a passage from the first story in the collection, “So Help Me God.” It’s a story about a woman who married young and is at home alone when she starts receiving curious phone calls. Here she reminisces about how she met her husband in high school.
Andrea had more household chores than I did and my bicycle was newer and faster than hers and I was the one who got restless and bored, so it was usually me on my bicycle, slow and dreamy and coasting when I could and not paying attention to cars and pickups that swung out to pass me. It was late August and boring-hot and I was wearing white shorts, a little green Gap t-shirt, flip-flops on my feet. I wasn’t so young as I looked. My ash-blond ponytail swept halfway down my back and my toenails were painted this bright sparkly green Daddy insisted I had to cover up, wear socks or actual shoes, at meal times.
I love this description, because it really does sound like something that would come straight out of the main character’s mouth. I haven’t finished the story yet (I’m about halfway through) but I know for sure that I won’t be reading it tonight, as I know too well how creepy Oates can be. I don’t want to be up wit nightmares all night!