Rating: 4 out of 5.

4.5 stars

This is an outstanding short story about a young boy’s journey through regret and grief as he sits vigil over his comatose mother in the hospital. Fourteen year old Jodie tries to memorialize his mother by drawing her, which his older brother doesn’t like and finds creepy. Each of Jodie’s sketches are almost complete – except for his mother’s eyes. He just can’t seem to get them right.

The author does an incredible job of taking us along as Jodie tries to process the idea of losing his mother in the only way he knows how, drawing her. His memories go back to happier times as he tries to understand why his mother would decide to end her life. He is filled with guilt as his memories of her begin to fade, even as she lays dying in the hospital. He is wracked with guilt as he realizes that when he begins high school in just a short time, his thoughts will be filled with other concerns besides her. With no photos of his mother as a keepsake, it’s why it’s so important to him to get this drawing right, even though that’s not really what he’s trying to process as he keeps drawing.

The author’s writing is absolutely beautiful. It’s clear that every word is chosen with care, every sentence expertly crafted. Anyone that’s ever suffered grief will immediately identify with the emotions depicted in the story. I don’t even like short stories, but I was enthralled with this one. This is the first story I’ve read by the author, but it definitely won’t be the last. This story is currently free on Kindle Unlimited. I highly recommend you read it. You will not be disappointed.

I was gifted a copy of this story by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.