I must confess that I could not get all the way through Beth Bosworth’s book of short stories “The Source of Life and Other Stories”. I picked it up because she is a writer from my neighborhood. I know the private school she taught at, the locations of some of her stories, and she looks like someone I may have seen-although it is the look of a number of private school teachers in the area. The book is a winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The individual who selected this book for the prize writes “there are leaps of faith here, nonetheless, as the collection dispenses a kind of narrative psychotropic for survival and redemption, with a chaser of humor mixed in.” I could have done with a straight bottle of vodka. This said E.L. Doctorow had positive comments about her first book of short stories “Praise For a Burden of Earth and Other Stories.”
Perhaps she ran out of things to say.
The book has two versions of the same story. Much of it revolves around the angst of a divorcee Jewish teacher and mother of two rebounding. Perhaps the book was cathartic. The editor should know better; unless this book was intended to be used in a writing class.
The writing style is stream of consciousness. To me at times it is like the ramblings of a child. Writing thoughts in your head, parenthetically or disassociated, does not make for an easy or enjoyable read.
There is one story that is definitely worth reading. It was the only reason I continued reading subsequent stories. “Conspiracy” is a powerful story of family and old age. I would borrow the book from a library to read this story.