Weekend in the Luberon and Other Stories cover
Weekend in the Luberon and Other Stories
by Dr. T. Dixon Long (Dixon) '55
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CreateSpace; 2012; 214 pp.
Genre: Fiction
Category: Literature
Additional Information - Library Catalog

These stories are arranged by the age of the principal characters from youngest to oldest. Time Zones follows the cross-country love affair of a young couple, one of whom lives and works in New York and the other in San Francisco. Although they are unsuited for each other, under the spell of the affair they mismanage their paths and plans, leading to a richly appropriate outcome. In Still Life Tom, an artist, meets Kate, a photographer, at an all-night diner. They both recognize their complementary interests and begin an affair. Then Kate discovers that breast cancer, which she thought she had conquered, has returned. She confronts wrenching alternatives about her treatment and the continuation of her love affair with Tom. The drama moves back and forth between Kate’s and Tom’s point of view. First Born chronicles the experience of a widower whose only son decamps after high school to drive old cars in demolition derbies across the south. The son returns unexpectedly with a girl friend and a new baby. When he leaves without them soon after, his father becomes emotionally entangled with the girl and faces a morally ambiguous choice. In the novella Weekend in the Luberon, Freddy, a writer and intellectual, tells how a diamond necklace mysteriously disappeared from the possessions of his father-in-law at the time of death. Freddy’s wife Susan is certain it was intended as a gift to her. The story is driven by Susan’s relentless greed and Freddy’s excessive timidity. Susan believes that her brother David took the necklace, and she is determined to retrieve it. Freddy resists and tries to dissuade her. Nevertheless Susan assembles a group of self-interested friends to help her recover the necklace. The action is set in the south of France, rich with the colors and aromas of Provence. The actors include Werner, a sardonic and light-fingered Swiss ski instructor who has amorous designs on Susan, and Inga, Werner’s drop-dead gorgeous Swedish wife. Susan’s cousin Chris, a tinkerer and manufacturer, insults everyone and bungles his assignment, leading to a tragic and sobering outcome. The last two stories, The Perfect Glaze and Harry Waiting, evoke the emotionally challenging questions we face at the end of a partner’s life and our own.