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Short Stories 365:257

I need to parse some of the things that happened today, so I'm gonna just dive straight into my story of the day.

"A Colony of Barbies," by J.R. Greenwell

As you can likely tell by this point, I've been completely sucked in to my copy of Who the Hell is Rachel Wells? and have been compulsively moving from story to story. This next tale from the collection is a perfect example of why.

Greenwell has this amazing ability to give you a side to a character (especially his supporting characters) and have you make up your mind about how you feel about all concerned, just in time for you to realize you're wrong, and feel the complexity and depth of said characters shift beneath your feet.

In "A Colony of Barbies" we meet David - a gay man who has definitely lived his life with the scars of his upbringing - and his mother, who has achieved sobriety at a point in her life where it may be too late in many ways. The narrative weaves through David's past and gives the reader glimpses into what echoes he lives with while he drives for a visit to his mother in the present. Their ultimate meeting had me on pins and needles, and I was sure I was about to have one kind of story, only to find something completely different.

Which is intended as high praise.