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Perzine, Danielle Patrick,, $2

Funeral is a short story in which the narrator (author Danielle Patrick) navigates the events surrounding her grandmother’s death. It starts off somewhat shaky; the anecdote about she and her siblings finding a car window smashed and upholstery soaked just before heading to the funeral reads as strange and ill-fitting in the context of the rest of the story. Their grandmother is remembered in this scene as someone who would find the break-in “typical” of her family’s bad luck, but this characterization seemed disconnected from the woman we get to know as the story progresses. A lot of the dialogue and character interactions seemed awkward and stilted, but the strength of this story is in the narrator’s inner monologue and her descriptions of unfolding events and situations. There is also some discussion of life and death and other Big Questions arising from such occasions, and Danielle is adept at conveying the sensations of finding yourself at the funeral of a family member. She captures the confusing mix of emotions you feel when someone you love dies and all the rituals and obligations surrounding it: the church lady catering, being unsure if you’re getting too emotional or are not emotional enough, catching up with friends and family who only seem to gather for funerals and weddings. All of these things are evocative of that experience. (Mary Green)

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