June 17, 2013 update: The author created a “radio play” of the first part of Horse II. It’s really good, and not too long. You can get the MP3 on her site:
Recommend short story for writers and readers with an interest in noir and a taste for literature that makes you think. Some caveats to this recommendation are below.
This high-quality short story includes original linocuts by the author. In the noir genre, it explores how a convenient choice, one made to get oneself out of a bind, can destroy love, both romantic love and love of one’s favorite thing in life.
Not for the faint-of-heart, this story involves the murder of a horse. Keep going, though. See where the author takes it. Enjoy her spare, very deep point-of-view craftsmanship as well as her success in male POV.
The story is spot-on in its rendering of the impact a single bad choice can have on a person’s life. Like many literary works of fiction, while the reading of it challenges, the thoughts stick. This quiet, small situation affecting just a few not-famous people is a study in the same phenomena behind the catastrophic mistakes made by people who hit the news when their bad, short-term choices affect millions of people.
If you are a Romance genre reader, this story provides the yang to the yin of happily-ever-after outcomes. That is, in Romance, while the characters make seemingly irretrievable mistakes along the way, in the end, they are able to overcome their mistakes and achieve love. This story explores the opposite ending.
The big craft take-aways are: Set the stakes high and choose the pivotal experience in the character’s life.
The murder of the horse is softened at the end of the book. You’ll feel better.
The linocuts are beautiful and enhance the noir experience.
You can buy it here: Horse Two
A great review of this story is here: NoirWHALE