Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Trip Back – Robert Olen Butler




I don’t think I’ve yet encountered in this project a story with such a focus on a character and the character’s family dealing with the issue of memory loss.

I’ve written about memory loss on many occasions here as there are several stories that have driven me to reflect on my father’s Alzheimer’s and my mother’s struggle with her health that has contributed to her memory loss and my future of some sort of memory problems.

This story did not pull on my heart strings as some of the others have – perhaps because the story addresses the disease directly. Also, as I’ve written about before in relation to me reading “In Search of Lost Time” (yes the entire thing – still reading it), the time in your life that you read a story or novel greatly colors your relationship to it.

I’m in a strange space with my parent’s illnesses. I think there is some acceptance of my father’s existence in this world – but I believe I am avoiding placing too much of my own emotions into my mother’s fate. I feel that these feelings colored my relationship to this story.


This was a rather short, short story, and I wanted a little more character development and maybe a thicker development of the relationship, and the struggle of dealing with a loved one with memory loss in the characters of the husband and wife. 

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