Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pinsker, Sarah - In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind

The parents of the boomers are now very late in life.  They are old, their children are old too.  In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind uses a speculation to confront growing old, and what one sometimes has to do to survive and feed a family. 

Millie and George have been married over 60 years when he suffers a stroke.  It's pretty apparent to Millie that he will never come back from it.  Ground very familiar to this generation is covered--frailty, aging children, putting aside dreams.  George was an architect, and very much a dreamer when they met.  Events described in the story change him into basically a stoic.  He remains a dedicated family man and enthused about family projects, but work is not of interest to him any more.  In the hospital, he starts drawing, and brings the time of change back to Millie.

The story is very well written and a solid read.  I have not heard of Sarah Pinsker before, and this is a fine debut.  I don't think she really needed any speculative elements to tell the story, but they didn't hurt.  It's often easier to make a point in speculative fiction, since you have fully imaginary scenarios at your disposal.

I give it three stars, and can recommend it.  Decent stuff.

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