Today, I’m reviewing another story by Brent Jones. Go Home, Afton was great (read my review HERE), so when I signed up for Brent’s newsletter and recieved this short story, I was happy to dive right in and read.
The Matchbook: A Short Story
Corbyn Thurber, seventeen, meets the love of his life while passing through the small town of Wakefield—he just doesn’t know it at the time.
He returns years later in search of the woman he never forgot only to discover she has a dark secret. And tracking her down under the watch of judgmental locals is only half as antagonizing as his sense of self-doubt.
Told from the perspective of a man haunted by regret, this short story, from the author of Fender and The Fifteenth of June, masterfully considers the consequences of a life unexplored.
I love that this is told in first person, I spent half of my reading time hoping he would find his long, lost love, and the other half wondering how real this love could be after one, hour-long conversation. It really makes you wonder about Corbyn’s intentions – sometimes we remember events or people with such high esteem, only to find out later that those events/people weren’t as great as they were.
I think this story is really about Sapphire – real name, Stephanie – and what has happened in her life during the seven years after her encounter with Corbyn. I don’t really want to discuss it too much, because I don’t want to spoil this story for anyone, but her reactions in the past and present are something else to think about.
This is a powerful short story. I knew Brent Jones was an incredible writer after reading Go Home, Afton, but this short story blew me away. His ability to create tension and cause readers to ponder the questions presented, in such a small amount of words is brilliant. It’s the mark of a great story and a great writer, when a reader continues to think about a story, long after the last sentence is read.
Let me know if you decide to read The Matchbook, I think it would be a great one to discuss in more depth. 😊