I, Richard by Elizabeth George
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a book of 5 short stories, all of which are excellent. What I especially enjoyed was to read Elizabeth George’s comments before the stories. In them she tells how she got the idea for the story and some of the processes she goes through to change an idea into a plot. One was a book of her own which she was never happy about and she found a better subject and ending for the short story version.
I think my favorite was “Remember, I’ll Always Love You.” I was completely fooled throughout the whole story and the ending left me amazed at Elizabeth George’s imagination. It would have been a great plot for “The Twilight Zone.” At first, the story seems to be going in an almost overused plot…the husband dies, the wife finds evidence of a secret life and is amazed to find out that the man she was so happy with was not the person she thought he was. While that is true, the ending is anything but trite.
“I, Richard,” while a little more predictable, also has the very satisfying ending that most mystery readers enjoy. Justice is done, but it comes in an unpredictable manner and the reader is left even more satisfied. The characters are well developed for a short story and none is very admirable, so the fact that the plot hinges on Richard III makes it even more ironic.
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