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Aberdeen Copeland was bringing yesterday back from twenty years of hiding. Bringing it back in slow motion.
In “Humming Back Yesterday”, Crystal E. Wilkinson presents Aberdeen Copeland grappling with her past. Through “clicks”, still shot photographic descriptions of her memories, and through “hums”, slow motion films of her memories, Wilkinson provides snippets of Aberdeen’s childhood that allows the reader to understand the abuse she and her mother suffered from her stepfather.
At the same time, the reader gets small everyday details of Aberdeen’s current life with her husband, Clovis. As Wilkinson provides both narratives, I found myself wondering if the abusiveness continues with Clovis twenty years later. While I can only go by what Wilkinson gives, I have to guess that Aberdeen has somehow managed to choose a husband completely different from the husband her mother chose.
To me, the contrast between Clovis and the stepfather made for a disturbing, yet ultimately uplifting, story.
This story is included in my copy of Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. I read this story when I selected the Ten of Hearts for Week 49 of my Deal Me In 2016 short story project. My Deal Me In 2016 list can be found here. Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.