Short Story Review from: The Best American Short Stories 2004 – “Intervention” by Jill McCorkle

Welcome to a new feature on Book Club Mom. Short reviews of short fiction. This selection comes from The 2004 edition of The Best American Short Stories, edited by Lorrie Moore.

“Intervention” by Jill McCorkle from Ploughshares

In his excellent story about marriage and adult children, Marilyn and Sid, now retired, have settled into an alarming routine. Every evening, Marilyn watches Sid drink too much. And she’s let it slip to their daughter that she’s concerned. Sally is a take-charge daughter and quickly sets up an intervention, led by her social worker husband. Sally’s brother books a flight and they prepare to confront Sid.

Marilyn is sorry she ever mentioned it, but there is no stopping her children, who mean well, but cannot understand the complex dynamics between Marilyn and Sid. “You have to deal with Dad’s problem,” Sally tells Marilyn. Marilyn is also insulted that their marriage is under scrutiny. Whose business is it?

When the day arrives, despite their children’s careful planning, only Marilyn understands Sid’s reaction. Readers may look back and determine that’s the only thing that could have happened.

What’s great about this story is how the author explores the touchy topic of children taking charge of their parents’ lives. I enjoyed thinking about these dynamics and the opposing points of view. In addition, McCorkle shows the powerful influence of private understandings between husband and wife, which is both invisible to their children and not meant for them to know.

Jill McCorkle is an American author of eight novels and four collections of short stories. Her most recent novel, Hieroglyphics, was published in 2020. She is currently a faculty member of the Bennington College Writing Seminars and is affiliated with the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

I am never disappointed by the stories in this collection. I’m looking forward to working my way through it all.

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Who’s That Indie Author? K.C. Tansley


Author name:  K.C. Tansley

Genre:  YA Time Travel Mysteries

Books:  The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts


Bio:  K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and two quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables–spells, ghosts, time travel–and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Nailing an emotional beat. After struggling with a scene for weeks, there’s usually a moment when it all comes together and I feel like I’ll hit the readers with just the right mix of visceral reactions, internal thoughts, and body language for them to experience what my character feels.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Selling books remains the hardest part of being an indie author.

Favorite booksCity of Glass by Cassandra Clare, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead, Splintered by A.G. Howard, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Contact Information:  Website:
Facebook: @kourtneyheintzwriter
Twitter: @KourHei

Awards/special recognition:   The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (Book 1 of The Unbelievables)

  • 2017 EPIC’s Ariana Cover Design Awards Finalist
  • 2017 EPIC’s Ebook Award Finalist
  • 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Winner
  • 2016 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Judges’ Choice Awards Winner
  • 2016 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist
  • 2016 International Book Awards Finalist
  • 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Finalist

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email for a bio template and other details.

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