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For Week 32 of my Deal Me In 2014 project, I drew the King of Hearts and read Truman Capote’s short story “Mojave”. What could be considered SPOILERS may occur during this post. My Deal Me In 2014 list can be seen here. DMI is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.
“Mojave” was written in 1975 and I would assume that the story itself is set in the 1970’s. Sarah Whitelaw is having an affair with her psychiatrist and – what a shocker – it’s not working out. She runs some errands around town (somewhere in California, I think) and then heads home to her husband George. At home, she proceeds to massage George’s feet while he tells her a story. At some point in the past, George Whitelaw was on a Mojave desert road and happened upon a white-haired old blind man by the side of the road. The old man, whose name is George Schmidt (another George), tells George Whitelaw a story about his second wife, Ivory Hunter (that’s a “stage” name in case anyone is wondering), and how he ended up on the side of this desert road.
A story within a story works maybe half the time. In another story, I might have found a character named Ivory Hunter to have been humorous, but this story within a story within a story just didn’t work. Ultimately, Sarah reveals at the end of the story (at the end of all the stories) that she has made a habit of “hooking up” her husband with other women. This “open marriage” concept perhaps would be considered a surprise ending – but it wasn’t a big surprise.
I’m still waiting for the Truman Capote story other than “A Christmas Memory” to really grab me. So for now, I’ll continue to highly recommend “A Christmas Memory” which I posted about here.