Short Story Sunday: This Telling by Cheryl Strayed

This Telling
Series: Out of Line Collection
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Narrator: Kristen Bell
Published: September 1, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 29, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

A genealogy test sparks a woman’s reflection on the two accounts of her life—the real one and the one she’s always told the world—in this poignant short story by Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild.

In 1964 teenage Geraldine Waters was sent away by her parents to an unwed mothers’ home, where she gave up her newborn for adoption. Ever since, she’s lived an alternative narrative. Decades later, it’s time for Geraldine to reconcile the telling of her life, to finally grieve, and to discover what happened to that part of her past that slipped away.

Cheryl Strayed’s This Telling is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

This short story was all that I thought it would be.  Taking place in 1964 when women were heavily shamed for pregnancy outside of marriage, we have Geraldine’s story. The father is going off to Vietnam and thinking of the different options available and even possibly going through with them, Geraldine ends up gives her baby away for adoption. Now, in present day with genealogy tests coming up everywhere, she must come to face her past.

This very well written short story covers all the angles that it should. The reader sees what an unwanted pregnancy at the time meant.  I only wish it was longer!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
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