The Woman by the Bridge: Stories

John Daniel, Author Dolphin-Moon Press $8.95 (143p) ISBN 978-0-940475-62-5
The nine stories by Daniel ( The Love Story of Sushi and Sashimi ) deal with love, though not always love by conventional standards. Traditional familial and spousal love is the subject of ``Return to Madeline Island'' (easily the book's best piece), depicting the relationships of a man slowly carried away by heart disease. ``Spilt Milk'' is about the fumbling involvements of actors working on a play. Yet ``Fifteen Japanese Gentlemen'' explores love of self as revealed by the eponymous men avenging, almost 50 years after the fact, Japanese-American internment during World War II. And the minuscule (55 words) ``Guitar'' tells the story of a neglected wife's humorous and desperate attempts to get her husband's attention. The title piece is a not terribly affecting parable about the meaning of satisfaction in life. The author's penchant for O. Henry-style twist endings quickly becomes annoying, and the stories are too much like exercises to pack any emotional punch; after awhile, the characters begin to sound alike from story to story, as if the secret of the magician's trick has been revealed. And it wasn't much of a trick to begin with. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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