by Sasha White, contemporary (2005)
Amber Quill Press, $3.00, ISBN 1-59279-381-9
Meandros is an ancient city in Greece, and Greece is the setting of this story. The reason this book is priced at $3.00 is because it's a short story. However, in this case, short doesn't necessarily mean trivial or forgettable. While Meandros has a strong romantic element, readers please take note that this book is best approached as mainstream women's fiction. This story, after all, is about a woman's thoughts of her time with her late husband as she makes a pilgrimage to Athens.
For this woman, Tammi, the trip to Athens is important because it helps her remember some important lessons life - and her husband Tom - taught her about needing to stay strong and keep living.
Since this is a short story, it is really hard for me to say anything more without giving away what's little that I haven't given away in my synopsis. However, it is very easy for me to wish that the story is longer, that Meandros is just a starting chapter in a full-length novel. While most of the sex scenes are in the form of flashbacks of Tammi with Tom (Tammi and Tom - I know, how disgustingly precious), they don't come off as gratuitous or sleazy as much as they are scenes to reaffirm the bond Tammi had with Tom, which is one of best friends and lovers. I actually have a lump in my throat as I read the last few paragraphs of this short story. How many short stories can do that to me, huh?
Meandros is a short, well-written, and inspiring story without becoming too sentimental or didactic. The only serious flaw I can find with this book is the gnawing frustration eating at me by the time I finish this story because I really, really want this story to be so much longer.
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