Night by Linda Burgess
19 February 2002


I recognised Night within the first few lines. I don't think I've read it before, but I do know that Linda Burgess mentioned it in an interview that I heard. Because of this I already knew the basic plot of the story.

It's a fairly unexciting short story, simplistic (I see that the blurb on the back of the book says that all the stories are suitable for students in Years 9 - 11), not terribly deep, entirely comprehensible. I prefer a story that provides me with something of a challenge.

For all that there are just a few bits that I like. The italics, used exclusively in the mother's dialogue, convey her impatient, unreasonable anger excellently. I like the father's hand on the boy's cheek and the torch "swirling and waving through the night". Also, as I read it again and again, I begin to find myself sympathising with the mother. Her tiredness, her frustration, her apparently unreasonable anger; for some reason I can forgive her. Perhaps I begin to accept the connotations of "any old star through tears": that the mother is actually not a happy woman.


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