Review of "Mannequin," a short story by Susan Helene Gottfried

Lynne's dad often takes her shopping with him at a high-end men's boutique. Lynne likes to sit at the feet of the mannequin in the window and dream of what he'd be like if he were real. One day, a stranger walks in. For Lynne, nothing will be the same ever again.

I was kind of taken off guard by this story.  It's really an interesting piece.  While the summary is accurate, I don't think it really captures the charm or mood of the story at all.

Mannequin is told from the point of view of a young girl.  While her age is never mentioned, it seems that she is on the cusp of womanhood.  Obviously unhappy with her workaholic father, she imagines what it would be like if the mannequin came to life and was her real dad.  Though her daydream is about a fantasy father figure, it would also seem that she is unconsciously figuring out what she would look for in a future mate.

The juxtaposition of her clothing obsessed father with the mannequin makes for a very thought-provoking story.  What is it that makes a person a person?  Who is less real: the father that's never there or the mannequin that's always there?  How much value should you place on external appearance?

This is quite an interesting story and well worth the read.

4/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy the story on Amazon US or B&N.


  1. Thanks, that definitely sounds an odd little story that's the kind of thing I'd like.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Alain! If you (or anyone) has an idea for a better way to describe this story, I'm all ears. Sometimes, it's hard for an author to accurately describe something they wrote.

  3. Ha! I see Lynne as about 8 years old. But the whole story is a metaphor. It can be perceived in many ways.

  4. Blurbs are really hard. I struggle with them as well.

    Right now your blurb feels like "Lynne did this and then Lynne did that." Which doesn't really capture the idea that Joel mentioned in that the whole story is a metaphor.

    Maybe something like: "There was not a doubt in Lynne's mind that the store mannequin would make a better father." Where it makes you go "what the heck?" and hints at the fact that this story is about way more than shopping.


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