Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bobcat And Other Stories by Rebecca Lee

In Bobcat And Other Stories, Rebecca Lee takes the reader on a tour of individuals who attempt to find love and happiness in a variety of way.  Although they may not get the result they want, there is value in the striving for a better life.

There are seven stories.  The title story, 'Bobcat', takes the reader to a dinner party of upward mobility couples and individuals.  The favored guest is a woman who supposedly has lost her arm while on an expedition to a bobcat attack.  The hostess wonders if her story is true, while also worrying about how her dinner is going and the state of her marriage.  In 'Min' a man and woman are students together.  The man is the son of a wealthy Hong Kong family and plans to go home for the summer to work with his father.  He invites the woman to accompany him and offers her summer employment.  She accepts, only to find that her job is to find the perfect wife for her friend, the only man she has ever met she could imagine marrying herself.

'Fialta' follows a group of architectural interns who are working with an acknowledged master in the field.  The price is adulation and the concession of free will as they allow their mentor to order and decide their lives for them.  'The Banks Of Vistala' shows a different mentor/protege relationship, where a student plagiarizes a paper, only to realize as the term goes on that her professor realizes what she has done but does not turn her in as it validates certain tenets that he lives by.  'Settlers' follows a group of friends over the year, showing how each gets what they desire but not in a perfect manner, instead settling for a facade of what they truly wanted.

Rebecca Lee has written an engaging anthology of stories, one that short story readers will eagerly anticipate.  Her ability to break through the veneer of what one wants to portray to the reality underneath is breathtaking and will illuminate life in a way that will leave the reader reassessing their own desires.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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