Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Alice Stone, Joan Howard, and Ellie Fagen are women in transition. With their collective children out of the house, these full-time mothers seek to establish their paths in the next phases of their lives.
Alice is a runner. At least she used to be. She and her husband, Dave, opened a running store twenty-eight years ago. But ever since their children were born, Alice devoted her time to raising them. Now that they are grown, Alice wonders if she should return to the store. But does she feel the same about running anymore?
Joan Howard is a mother. That is all that is expected of her from her husband’s family. Women are meant to raise children and, if time permits, support local charities. But Joan feels unfulfilled and at a loss for how to fill her days. She wants more, but will her husband – and her mother-in-law who harbors traditional views of a woman’s role – approve of her desire to become employed, particularly now that her children are no longer in need of daily care and support?
Ellie Fagen runs a part-time bookkeeping business. She knows that she has the time now to further develop her business but struggles with the salesmanship aspect that goes along with winning over new clients. But when she easily lands a new client, the owner of a local pet supply store, her confidence blooms. Will that be the only change for Ellie?
When a local tragedy brings these empty-nesters together, the women develop a bond over their shared dilemma of “what to do next.” Alice, Joan, and Ellie agree to meet every other Wednesday and share tidbits about their personal life struggles. These women don’t hold back. They are vocal about their convictions but are all cognizant of varied opinions on hot-button topics and respect each other’s points of view. Will each woman be able to move forward in a way that suits the needs of her family as well as being true to herself and her own personal needs?
In “Every Other Wednesday,” Susan Kietzman touches on timely political and social topics: gun ownership, sexuality, and a woman’s role in modern society. Kietzman affords attention and respect to both sides of the gun ownership argument, shining light on the diversity that exists in the U.S., and in the world at large, on this topic. The author also addresses sexuality and encourages acceptance of a person’s right to autonomy. Finally, and most notably, the story draws upon every person’s desire to find his or her place in this world. Everyone can relate to the struggle to feel like a useful, productive, and contributing member of whatever society he or she resides. Humans have a biological desire to belong, to feel fulfilled, and this story is a reminder that one should never give up on unearthing what makes one’s life feel worthwhile and complete.
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About the author:
Susan Kietzman has been writing fiction for years, fitting it in and around raising her children, working various jobs, and enjoying life. When her boys were young, she wrote early in the morning. And she still does, although she allows more time for fiction now that the boys are mostly elsewhere. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in English and from Boston University with an M.S. in journalism. She has written for magazines, newspapers, and corporate websites, and taught English composition as an adjunct instructor at two community colleges. When she is not writing at home, she is writing grant proposals for Mystic Seaport Museum. And when she is not writing she enjoys the outdoors, mostly by hiking, biking, and walking, and the indoors by reading in her living room in front of a fire.
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