Saturday, August 13, 2011

Short Story Review: And Jacki, Of Course

by Amy Gerstin Coombs

Nora's grandchild is due to be born any minute. The occasion is marred by her son's mother-in-law, who never accepted Nora's partner, Jacki, as his other parent. Jacki tells Nora to stop dwelling in the past and dismisses her fears for the future. Can Nora forgive and forget? Should she? What will a mother do to hold onto her family? A short story from our Nibs short story line.(Untreed Reads)

My Thoughts:
Short stories are not easy to write. Without the luxury of a full length novel to establish a backstory and build characters, the author has to present well-rounded characters and a believable plot within a limited framework. They're not easy to write, which is why I'm so impressed with how good this story is! We're immediately plunged into the story, and Nora and Jacki soon feel like old friends! Coombs effortlessly gives us their history with Ben's mother-in-law while we're in the waiting room with them.

Nora is Ben's birth mother, and her partner Jacki adopted him at birth. They are an established couple, yet Ben's mother-in-law has never accepted them as partners. Nora is afraid that there will be a barrier between them and their new grandchild due to distance and the fact that evil MIL lives closer and may influence the child. Legitimate concerns based on their past interactions, yet Jacki is laid back and confident that their grandchild will love and accept them with no problem.

This story left me wanting to learn more about Nora and Jacki. I sympathized with Nora and her fears, and was impressed that Jacki was so accepting of others and didn't seem to let anything phase her. Wanted to learn more about Ben and his wife, and why he allowed his mother-in-law to behave so badly. Coombs is a very talented writer, and I'd love to read more!


  1. As a wannabe writer, short stories scare me because of the reasons you've mentioned. Not having enough space to build up plot and characters so I am immensely impressed when someone gets it right. Especially if they're telling a story as complex as this appears. Great review!

  2. Lan - You're right, they are scary. Think Amy did a really good job, as she packed a lot of information in a short amount of space, but did it effortlessly!