Review of "Born Again," a short story by P.J. Lincoln
Summary:Beth Tanner has a secret. It's one she's kept from her husband, Jackson, for more than a decade of marriage. Now, a chance encounter with a device that allows your past to be viewed in full detail, Beth Tanner must confront her long ago transgressions.
Beth lives an ideal soccer-mom suburban lifestyle. It's a life she's grown accustomed to and she doesn't want to give it up. But Jackson needs to know the truth and that world she treasurers so much could be taken away.
A short piece with a quick, engaging plot that somehow feels lacking in the end. Lincoln has some writing skills, no question there. The opening scene to the story is quite good. He immediately manages to create sympathetic characters with only a few short paragraphs. Beth and Jackson are having the type of conversation that almost any person that has been in a long-term relationship could relate to.
The mysterious salesman and "life-sync" device piques your interest. How does it work? If I were in the same situation would I use it? Would I want to use it? You know, the classic Star Trek questions that make starship captains blatantly ignore the Prime Directive.
Thanks to the device, Beth's secret is blown and her dark past uncovered. And that's when the story just sort of leaves you hanging. There are too many questions, too many unknowns, and just not enough emotional resolution. Yes, it's implied that things could be worked out between her and her husband. But the decision seems to be reached with little more than a gasp of shock and a loving hug.
I don't necessarily think the story needs to be longer. As a short story writer/reader, I don't always feel that more words is the solution to everything. The conclusion to this story had the potential to be either touching or humorous. Unfortunately neither really happened which produced a "meh" reaction.
All in all it's not a bad read. The concept was good and I think Lincoln has some real raw talent showing through.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this story on Amazon.