Review of No Matter What

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No Matter What a short story by Ruth Erskine

Despite its unconventional structure, I really liked this story. It’s charming. The story consists of approximately 20 short brother-sister dialogues, spread across 20 years. Despite the appeal of symmetry, there’s no definitive explanation as to why they don’t see each other that often. I was expecting some kind of reveal at the end, but there was no exposition-drama-resolution arc here. What impresses me is the author’s ability to create a touching and compelling relationship using nothing but dialogue. That is unique. Typically, stories require some kind of conflict, crisis, and context to really be engaging, but this story felt like a stroll along a beach. My last criticism is an over-reliance on stereotypes, namely a tattooed, motorcycle-driving, leather-jacket-wearing (&tc) career criminal, and a “goody” college girl raised in a “goody” household. The one-dimensionality of the characters subtracts (though only very slightly) from the story. Other than that, I appreciate a refreshing read from a refreshing author.

Victor A. Davis has always loved reading and writing short stories. He is an avid hiker and even when away from the world of laptops and wifi, keeps a pocket paperback and a handwritten journal to keep him company on trail. He is the author of two short story collections, Grains of Sand and The Gingerbread Collection. Join his Mailing List for special announcements about upcoming works.