Review of “The Truth about Rebecca,” a short story by E.M. Youman

Summary:

She’s a banshee screaming, sugar-starved monster, and her zookeeper has left you all alone with her.

That’s what’s running through twenty-nine-year-old Henry Dalton’s mind, when his five-year-old stepdaughter, Rebecca, enters the room and utters these fatal words. “Where’s Mommy?”

Review:

This is a touching story about two people in need of love and forming an unlikely family.  Henry Dalton, the protagonist, is your very typical bachelor that has absolutely no interest in having a family.  He’s just “a guy” that wants to date Rebecca’s mom.

The circumstances of Dalton taking on Rebecca as his charge border on unrealistic by how fast everything occurs.  I felt like more time could have been spent exploring Rebecca’s mother.  It wouldn’t necessarily change the result of the story but perhaps add more emotional depth to the events that follow.

Still, the story has a good pace to it.  I enjoyed seeing Dalton’s progression as a character.  He really sees Rebecca for her all her faults and, initially, doesn’t like her at all.  I thought this was a nice, very human touch.  It explores the idea that you don’t always get to choose your family.

Definitely worth picking up a copy.

3.5/5 stars

Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this story on Amazon.

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Review of “Room for Rent,” a short story by David Toth

 

Summary:

With a marriage and business gone bust, Allen is left with one option––rent out the basement of his isolated house in the Adirondacks to help pay the bills. At first, Greg Shaw is the ideal tenant: quiet, respectful and always pays his rent in cash. His paranoid insistence that dangerous people are after him seems like a harmless quirk. But when a household accident leaves Greg with a broken neck, Allen finds more than just old music records among Greg’s belongings. A large sum of money sits in a local bank and Allen, (a former child-actor) is faced with a decision: report the accident, or impersonate Greg to retrieve the money.

Review:

A classic tale of betrayal and greed. I really enjoyed this story. Despite the length the cast of characters were very fleshed out and memorable. The former child-actor going rogue was absolutely perfect.

The twists and turns were interesting but done concisely, which kept the pace of the story moving forward in a way that was fitting for a novelette. If you love a good crime story then Room for Rent is definitely worth picking up a copy.

4.5/5 stars

Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this story on Amazon.