Typically, I’m not a short story reader. I have nothing against them and have even written a few that are tucked into the back of some of the paperback versions of my books, but I don’t often gravitate to reading them. I think there are a number of reasons for this. One, often short stories fall under the literary fiction category, and I’m more of a commercial fiction gal. Two, I like to be immersed in a story and short stories have less time to get me into that state. Three, I don’t know if it’s just been my luck, but the short stories I’ve read have often had no real ending or are super grim, and they’ve left me with a “what was the point of that?” feeling.
However, I’m happy to report that none of those are the case in the one I’m recommending today. I’m not even sure how Evidence of the Affair came into my line of sight. I’m sure the Amazon recommending machine was at work. But when I saw the cover (I love mid-century modern architecture—though I’m freaked out by all the windows now after reading I’ll Be Gone in the Dark), my attention was snagged. Then I saw it was written by Taylor Jenkins Read, who has written some of my favorite books of the last decade or so of my reading life. That’s all I needed to know. I was in. Bonus surprise: the short story is free if you’re an Amazon Prime member or if you have Kindle Unlimited. (If not, the 1.99 price is still a steal.)
This story is set in the 1970s (another thing I loved about it) and told all through letters. I love stories told in interesting ways, and the epistolary format really worked here. The main letters being exchanged are from the spouses of the cheating partners. One discovers the affair and writes to the other. Interspersed are letters between the cheating couple. I wasn’t sure where the story would go and it kept me guessing (and got me worried at points), but I will say that it was a satisfying ending.
So, if you’re looking for something a little different or for a quick read to get out of a reading slump (or to beef up your reading challenge numbers!), I recommend picking up Evidence of the Affair. If you like her writing style, I highly recommend tracking down her backlist. I’m still working my way through hers, but One True Loves has been my favorite so far.
Any good short stories to recommend?