Elizabeth McCracken, “Property”

51vAWyA+csL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A widower rents out a family’s former home in Maine and finds it dirty and disappointing.

(from Thunderstruck)

The house wasn’t a Victorian, as he’d for some reason assumed, but an ordinary wood-framed house painted toothpaste blue. Amazing, how death made petty disappointments into operatic insults.

Some stories are stories, like the ones in the Neil Gaiman story collection Stories I just started. Others are more like… extended realizations. Plot-wise, they’re a little thin, because the point is really that a character finally understands something well enough to cast it in a warmer, brighter light. This is one of those stories, sort of. A guy moves into a place, time rushes by, he moves out. We the readers are made to focus on the beginning and the end. That’s where the important moments are. Maybe I categorize these realization stories like this because their descriptions, like the one I wrote at the top, make it sound so boring when, in fact, what we’re dealing with is a piece of writing that has a lot to offer that has nothing to do with what strictly, you know, happens. “Property” is absorbing and enlightening in the way it describes relationships and grief and anger. Also, it was written by Elizabeth McCracken, and she’s the bee’s kneecaps. I could read her write a phone book.


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