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An interesting collection of ten short stories of diverse situations with one commonality; each story explores the turning point in the lives of its protagonists. In The Best Man, Mike comes face to face with his ex, and must process his feelings for his understanding wife and young child. In The Afterlife of Lyle Stone, a successful middle-aged partner in a blue-chip seems to have it all – kids in private colleges, the body fat ratio of a twenty nine year old, three German cars, a coveted golf membership and a Patek Philippe chronograph with the gold strap. Yet, he has a nervous breakdown and suddenly finds membership of a group he had never wanted to be a part of. Other stories include the prodigal daughter returning home for an intervention with her alcoholic mother and a woman unexpectedly rediscovering love for her ex-husband.
The story that haunted me was What the Left Hand is Saying.Tim walks into the lives of the people staying in an apartment block,and gradually they all become friends, almost family as they celebrate thanksgiving and their secrets with each other. Tim endears himself to all, and when Tim signs up on the roster for amateur night at local bar, all of them “privately imagined Tim, our gentle Tim, being savagely humiliated, thrown to the lions” and went to support him.
And when Tim goes up on the stage with his puppet in his left hand, the puppet reveals their secrets and failings to all.
It was a story that would resonate with all of us…after all, we have all had that one person we trusted with our secrets who made a mockery of them and betrayed us to all!