Thursday 8 February 2018

Review: Girls Fine as Beeswing by Elaine Chiew

Girls Fine as Beeswing Girls Fine as Beeswing by Elaine Chiew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short story is available online

A young 15 year old Gracie is taken for a slap up lunch by her grandfather whom she loves and whom she likes to see enjoying himself in her company. She tells him about school , her art projects. Their meal is indulgent - Pouilly-Fuissé, Bordeau, Beef Wellington, Bresse pigeon with Savoy cabbage - this old grandfather likes the finner things of life, he considers himself something of a connaisseur of life's indulgences "Beeswing is the filmy crust on old port". He drinks a bit too much, gets annoyed as she tells him of her first kiss and encourages her instead to tell him more about her girl friends. As a good grandfather he gives her a gift, one which brings her to tears of delight "The box was embossed in fine papyrus; inside lay a quill ink-pen. The feather was long and elegant, speckled with daubs of brown. The pen's body was a rich mahogany red, the nib a dull gleam of gold."
***SPOILER ALERT*** But the glorious quill is never used, it is abandoned "deep in my drawer with all my girlie hair things" Why this should have happened is in the partially exposed under story, written just enough into this story so that the reader can envisage what happens outside of this scene in the restaurant. Nicely done.

ashramblings verdict 4* The strength of this work lies in what is partially exposed, partially hidden, behind and within this story of a grandfather and grand-daughter's lunch.

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