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This craft of this story proves Lee Smith is an expert.  The story jumps from the present, to the past (which is also generally in story form in the club), and each time the narrative shifts we can follow it seamlessly.  I never felt like it broke the stream to shift, but rather it seemed to always continue.  I absolutely loved the character of Alice.  The way she describes her motoring around was hysterical, and I got the impression from the nursing home that some things will never change, people will always be petty and it doesn’t matter what the setting is, people will always act the same.  I also loved that she was totally ready to hand–what she made sound like–the world’s best story to the writing club.  Regardless of what the club decided (although I’m sure it was a case of follow the leader in that particular decision making process) she was going to write something moving, not simply entertaining.  And she found a way around this.  I loved that she was going to scoot out of there on her own terms.  She wouldn’t even let the stroke get the best of her relationship, she simply adapted and seemed to nearly take it in stride, holding on to whatever she could.  She did so in a strong way, not in a pathetic or desperate sort of way.  Not like before when she was with the father of her first child.  We could see she wasn’t a senile old lady, she simply had a different way of viewing things.  From the outside, she would look like an entitled and slightly crazy (in that elderly sort of way) woman who we wouldn’t expect to have so much insight, but she does.  We also see through her insistence on constantly stating random facts that she desperately wants to be “all there”, she wants to convince us that she has her whole memory, and we see how much she values the fact that she can remember things.  She says that’s all they have are their memories, because it’s memories what make you.  As young people we struggle to construct ourselves, as an old person, you try and hold it together.  She asserts who she is, now that she knows.  However, I don’t think that all they are are their memories, I would argue that she shows us that she is capable of giving so much more than simply stories of memories, you continue constructing.

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