Deal Me In 2020 – Week 48
Whenever some new couple moved into the community and asked about the house next door, they’d be told, Oh, yes, the Wares used to live there…They moved, of course. She was having an affair with Harry Thomas….He still lives here.
Harry Thomas’s complete lack of remorse for his affair with Rachel Ware provides the underlying humor to Jane Stuart’s short story “The Affair with Rachel Ware”. Harry narrates his “woes” about the inconvenience from his gossipy neighbors after his affair. Sometimes the humor borders on satirizing but most of the time it’s simply enjoyable comedy.
I say “most of the time” because the one odd aspect of the story is that Harry is an author of children’s books. He watches the children in the neighborhood (including Rachel’s) to find inspiration for his books and to find out what children are interested in. Nothing inappropriate happens (outside of the affair with the adult Rachel, I mean) but I thought it was a strange career for Stuart to give Harry. I think the story would have been just as humorous, maybe even more humorous, if Harry had been in advertising or sales of some sort. Stuart didn’t really have to give Harry any vocation and the story still would have been enjoyable.
This story is the penultimate story to finishing the collection Home and Beyond: An Anthology of Kentucky Short Stories edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. I read it when I selected the Six of Diamonds for Week 48 of my Deal Me In 2020 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In 2020 list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.