It’s the final day for Joyce Carol Oates Week and the story I read for today is “The Glazers” – going back to her collection Dear Husband,.
This story brought the most fun to the week, at least by Joyce Carol Oates standards. I have said before on this blog that if a reader is able to see what will happen at the end of a story but still want to get there and, once there, still enjoy it, the author has accomplished something great. That’s what happened for me in reading “The Glazers”.
In college, Penelope dates Glen Glazer and makes the trip to meet his family. She meets his father and then each of his four brothers come out of the woodwork. They vary from ages 5 to 26. They all have different personalities and thoroughly enjoy getting to know Penelope. They almost crave a friendship with a female.
Penelope also enjoys meeting the men until they end up getting into fist fights and yelling matches. She finally asks the question to which she gets no answer: Where is the wife and mother? Nobody gives her a straight answer although it’s certain that they don’t have a mother in their lives.
This is when I had a good idea of what was going on. The mention of Glen and his father’s career choices and business ventures give a huge clue. However, I still wanted to see what would happen and how everything played out.
I also liked this story’s straight to the point ending which I thought was better than some of Oates’ more ambiguous endings.
It’s been a fun week exploring Joyce Carol Oates’ stories. Although, I admit that I’m glad my Deal Me In 2015 Project did not deal up this week the one Oates story on my list. While looking forward to it, I’m content to hold off on that one for at least a little while.