The First Light of Evening – Mark Ernest Pothier and the beauty of solitude. (Story Review)

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The First Light of Evening is a lovely little short story available through the Kindle single range for free. It’s another of those examples of good writing available free of charge or through independent publishing as I already highlighted this week in my post about the Free Indie Reader. (Update – I just discovered that you have to pay for this short story in some countries)

A man, recently divorced, examines his marriage through his solitude and then through his first date with a potential suitor. He is happy, and enjoying the company of the new woman, exciting himself over the possibility of her reality erasing the spectre of his previous wife. Just as things are going very well with his date, she acknowledges their impending intimacy by giving him a piece of information that might make him change his mind about her before they get too close. Suddenly, he is faced with the possibility she may not be right for him, but that he invented her perfections simply to get rid of his ghosts.

Pothier is a gentle writer, taking time to expand into an idea, with a talent for making circular internal monologue interesting. The inner mind ramblings of his protagonist become more interesting than the conversations he is having, as he tries to understand himself through his environment and through his interactions with the people around him. What should be a rather dull, and self obsessive short story, becomes charming, delicate and emotionally intelligent as it unfolds. Pothier is an absent author, so much so that the reader almost feels the writer acts as a witness to events, but not in a way that has him lose his command of his material.

The First Light of Evening is an interesting read, perfect for (if you’re lucky enough to have them) a moment alone with a comforting beverage and your favourite music softly playing in the background. It won the Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Award.

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