Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Windows to the Soul

"Windows to the Soul" by Beverle Graves Myers, Shred of Evidence, November 2004

Ah, a mother's love is a delicate balancing act, a determining factor in both the kindest and most empathetic of us and also the cruelest among us. Though I suspect the main character of this story doesn't think of himself as the least bit cruel.

This story follows a man with a thing about eyes and spirituality. He tries a number of churches of different denominations, all in search of the eyes that will bring him a certain peace.

And then there's dear, old Mom. He tries to be a dutiful son, certainly more so than the rest of his siblings, but Mother keeps getting in the way of him fulfilling his life. What's a son to do? What's a mother to do?

This is a well-written story, easy to read, and it kept my interest even though the main character's ultimate actions, in fact all of the criminous actions, are deliberately vague. The change in situation in the last section of the story is signaled by a change in point of view. Nicely done and a poke in the eye to all those pedants in our educational system who insist that switching viewpoints in a short story is fatal, simply not done, old boy.

My one quibble is that I think the final section of the story was too long. I would have preferred a snappier, or at least shorter ending. It could have given the story a bit more punch.

In short, Ms. Myers has produced a nicely nasty tale of mothers and sons.