Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Sons Will Eat Today (Debra Borchert)

My Sons Will Eat Today
Debra Borchert
Amazon Digital Services
Fiction, Historical Fiction
****+ (Good/Great)

DESCRIPTION: In late-1700's France, revolution has swept the country like a wildfire, devouring lives and leaving chaos in its wake. Struggling to feed her sons in a city without so much as a loaf of bread - bakers having been scared out of town after one was executed for serving the hated aristocrats - a carpenter's widow finds herself caught up in an ill-advised march to the palace in Versailles.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: This short story manages the tricky feat of evoking a historic setting without browbeating the reader with infodumps or Messages. Francoise's stark reality would not be out of place in a post-apocalyptic horror tale. Raw anger and frustration may have been enough to topple the existing regime in France, but it seems that nobody had a viable alternative to replace it, leaving many worse off - and even angrier and more frustrated - than they were suffering under the arrogant aristocrats. One starts to wonder if the repeated waves of peasant assaults were intended to institute a better government or simply ensure a quicker death than starvation and exposure. Still, children must eat, and if the so-called revolutionaries have forgotten that in their bloodlust, mothers like Francoise must remember. It reads fast, if dark, painting a grim portrait of lives in turmoil. Given my uneven luck with short stories, I kicked it up an extra half-star.

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