A genealogy test sparks a woman’s reflection on the two accounts of her life—the real one and the one she’s always told the world—in this poignant short story by Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild.
In 1964 teenage Geraldine Waters was sent away by her parents to an unwed mothers’ home, where she gave up her new-born for adoption. Ever since, she’s lived an alternative narrative. Decades later, it’s time for Geraldine to reconcile the telling of her life, to finally grieve, and to discover what happened to that part of her past that slipped away.
Cheryl Strayed’s This Telling is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.
‘Is it mine?’ he asked.1
(Amazon Original Stories, 1 September 2020, 32 pages, ebook, borrowed from @AmazonKindle, #PrimeReading)
I really enjoyed this story which tackles some quite heavy issues including growing up, teenage pregnancy and secrets. The biggest chunk of the story is set in 1964 and the decision made by Geraldine’s parents is totally understandable as is her decision never to discuss what happened. I rooted for her from the sad opening seem when her boyfriend has a less than happy reaction to the news she’s having a baby. I also really enjoyed the aspects of the story set more recently when her secrets is suddenly out in the open. There is a s lot going on in This Telling and it felt like a much longer story than it was.