The Bottom Line
- Weiner is skilled at storytelling, and the writing is seamless and effortless to read.
- Swim and The Mothers Hour are standout stories that resonate with emotional impact.
- The character developments and conclusions feel rushed in some of the stories.
- Jennifer Weiners collection of short stories revisits old characters but also breaks new ground.
- The stories are arranged chronologically by characters age, from teenager to retired woman.
- The stories are most told from a womans perspective, but they deal with a wide range of issues.
Guide Review - The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner - Book Review
Some of the stronger stories include Swim, which follows a young writer in Los Angeles trying to find professional fulfillment while struggling with her own painful past. The Mothers Hour is about the unlikely friendship between a mid-thirties suburban mother and a young untraditional mother, and the consequences of their different lifestyles. These stories contain enough emotional power and subtle narrative surprises to satisfy the reader. Oranges from Florida is a unique premise and perspective for Weiner, and its one of the most creative stories in the The Guy Not Taken.
Other stories will appeal to fans of Weiners other work, including Good Men, which is a prequel to Good in Bed. And the first three stories in the collection echo the characters and plot of In Her Shoes. Weiners previous novels are well-known, and fans of her writing will likely be pleased with this collection. Some, though, might miss the lengthy, slow development a novel affordsin a few of the short stories the characters and resolutions feel rushed. Weiners narrative touch seems better suited to the longer, more understated novel form, rather than the short story.