Jana Martin, "Russian Lover"

A check and apology letters to her ex-mother-in-law.

(from Russian Lover and Other Stories)

I figured after reading so much Jana Martin over the last week or so, i figured it was time to give the title track a spin. It’s a relatively long one, and a bit more conceptual that the others. The letters are well-composed but not so writerly (except for the conspicuous word “hale”) that I felt like it was Martin’s words, and not her narrator’s, that I was reading. This character is charming and witty, and sometimes shows a dark side. It comes from a place of hurt; she’s over her husband’s betrayal in some ways but there’s a per of her that, understandably can’t deal with all the loose ends it created. Martin really really kicked ass with this one. Although she rarely digs deep in the poetry bag, some of her sentences are stunning and worthy of immediate, repeat readings.

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