Review: ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ by Tom Perrotta

By Alexis Shanley

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‘Mrs. Fletcher’ by Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta’s latest novel, Mrs. Fletcher, involves a lot of porn and sexual adventure, but that’s not to say it’s lacking in heart. Beneath the more sensational parts of the book is a story about embracing the fluidity of your identity and giving yourself the freedom to change. 

The first part of the novel cuts between the titular character of Eve Fletcher—a single mother in her mid-forties—and her son Brendan during a major transitory period in both of their lives. Brendan leaves home for his first year of college, and Eve is alone for the first time. In her son’s absence, she is left to reexamine her choices. Her newfound independence becomes the impetus for her awakening sexually, intellectually, and socially. Specifically, she becomes transfixed by lesbian porn sites and starts seeing the scenes of her life through the lens of porn scenarios. This leads her to sign up for a Gender and Society course at the local community college, as well as question aspects of her identity she once thought were fixed.

Meanwhile, Brendan envisioned that college would just be about parties, drinking, and hooking up with girls. After a few weeks there, though, his fantasy begins to fall apart; he finds that students at his university aren’t willing to entertain the misogynistic behavior he got away with in high school.

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June Morning

By Fritz Eifrig

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sun’s steady breaths ink open
the first paragraphs of another day.
shoes crunch across the glass
from a departed car window,
drunks stumbling
to find direction or peace
while the city rubs its eyes
clear of disbelief.

still reeling from
the morning I left your bed
for good.
the Lawrence el arrives.
8:30 southbound, sick, slow train,
full of rails enough to drive it elsewhere
every time.
skinned knees two mornings after all
of everything we said,
and the imprint of your unsure arms
still holds me.

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Above the Water

By Seth Jani

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The wind is in the dry leaves all day
It must be someone’s disappearing life.

I heard we can be seen up there,
Minutes after death,

The flickering light of what we will become
Tied to the ghosts of past and passing,

So much like those blue mirages
We find knotted to the sea.

– Seth Jani

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Cover to Cover with . . . Julia Tagliere (author and editor)

By Jordan Blum & Julia Tagliere

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Julia Tagliere

Julia Tagliere is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Writer and Hay & Forage Grower magazines and online at Buzzle; in various anthologies, including Here in the Middle: Stories of Love, Loss, and Connection from the Ones Sandwiched in between, Candlesticks and Daggers—An Anthology of Mixed Genre Mysteries, and in the juried photography and prose collection Love + Lust. Her short story, “Te Absolvo,” was named Best Short Story in the 2015 William Faulkner Literary Competition. Julia currently resides in Maryland with her family, where she recently completed her M.A. in Fiction Writing at Johns Hopkins University. Look for more of Julia’s work in the forthcoming anthology The Way to My Heart—An Anthology of Food-Related Romance, Issue 61 (August 2017) of Potomac Review, or at her blog/website.

In this episode, Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum chats with Tagliere about publishing, fiction subgenres, music, and even the importance of the 2017 Wonder Woman film, among other things.

Julia Tagliere

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Color Blind

By Julia Tagliere

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When Lacie was three, she swallowed her mother’s mood ring. In spite of ipecac syrup, copious quantities of laxatives, and even a hospital visit, the ring never reappeared. Eighteen now, Lacie imagined it illuminating her belly with the changing colors of her moods, or perhaps, even, controlling them.

The surprise of the chicks, scratching now at the fresh, fragrant mulch, made her feel yellow, worked where nothing else had that week—not the azure waves lapping at her feet, not the briny breeze, not the posh beachfront resort, the skin-clearing sun, or even her first (legal) passion fruit daiquiri. No, until Lacie, walking well ahead of the others, stumbled upon the clutch of tiny black and lemon-yellow chicks cheeping and chirping and scrabbling after their coal-black mama, ring around the rosie through the resort’s pristine flower beds, the mood ring somewhere in her belly glowed a constant, peevish vermilion, one shade shy of Veruca Salt red.

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