Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The September Letters by Maeve Binchy

It was just a chance meeting at an airport bar while waiting for their flights.  They were an older couple who were minding their business until the younger couples' argument got violent.  When the woman breaks her drink glass and attempts to go after the man she's fighting with, they and the bar attendant step in.  When he's gone and she's had her cry, they chat a bit and then part to go their ways.  They share addresses and suggest they write once a year to stay in touch and to see if things are alright...

Edelweiss and Vintage Books gave me the opportunity to read this short story for review (thank you).  It will be published May 8th.

Ms. Binchy writes about common life and real people.  She sees into their souls and she never elevates them or makes them better than they are.  Consequently, it's like you are actually meeting the person, defects and all.  I enjoy stories like that.

In this story, the young woman was being led on by the man.  He gave her the standard song and dance about a wife that didn't understand him or his needs.  He promised marriage.  He lied.  They broke up in the bar and she went on without him.  For a while...

It's funny what people will do.  After that big scene and the knowledge he was never going to get divorced, she took him back.  She told the couple that, in her letters.  The barman never said anything about her personal life, just told her about how he and his wife were going to start a bed and breakfast.  The couple talked about what they were doing, traveling mostly.

As the years go on, the girl finally wises up and gets rid of the lover with no future.  When she finds another man and is building a new future together, the woman from the couple admits that she, too, was lying.  In that bar at the airport, more than one heart was breaking...

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