Saturday, October 5, 2013

On "Stranger Danger" by Hadley Moore (4192 words) ****

I love Moore's "Stranger Danger" for its little observations that ring so true. Katherine is a single mom. The father, however, is kindly very involved in her son's life, as is his wife. There's a moment, toward the beginning of the story, when Katherine realizes that her boyfriend is not going to stick with her after her son's birth. "I wonder who's he'll be," he says. But that's not the most chilling detail. I find one a bit later to be so incredibly true to people who don't fit the mold of the typical American trajectory. As a single mom whose father's son is married, Katherine feels like the interloper in her own son's life, as if he has a perfect family of his own, and she's just a glorified babysitter. I love that detail because I can so identify with it, as perennial single guy among married and childed friends. I'm still the kid, the not fully adult one, even though I'm older than a lot of those around me. Because of how things came out in life, I never got to grow up. Katherine, too, feels this sad kind of halfness. I thank Moore for bringing this woman so well to life. Read the story here at Ascent.

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