Jennifer Levin, "Stand Wherever You Want"

Greta moves to a small mountain town and falls in love with an asshole in the midst of a drought.

(from The Iowa Review, vol. 35, #1)

Listen, you. I’m about to spoil the ending of this story, so don’t continue on this page if there’s any hope at all that you can read “Stand Wherever You Want” at some point. It’s worth reading.
Not a great story, but an interesting one with memorable moments and characters. The thing is, I really, really, for real really hate it when characters buy into symbolism the way an author can. If like two people get a divorce after their grandfather clocks stops ticking, or fall back in love when their long lost dog returns home, I’ll buy it because hey, I don’t want to real about chaotic gritty real life every day. There’s plenty of room for literary devices. But geez, when Jonathan, during the long-awaited rainstorm, announces that his relationship with Greta is over because it was raining, well, please. Don’t make me barf. Even Northern Exposure never made that leap.
Of course, that’s more a matter of my taste than this author’s skill. I mostly found this to be an enjoyable and maybe even fun read.

Shrift, “Yes I Love You”

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