Title: Picking Up the Pieces
Author: Pat Cadigan
In: Naked City (Ellen Datlow)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Family, Historical fiction
Dates read: 5th September 2019
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
5th sentence, 74th page: Working my way through the crowd, I began hearing snatches of English.
The youngest daughter, Quinn, has always been a little different. But in 1989, when there are happenings afoot, she might just realise that she’s not so special after all…
The use of the Berlin Wall coming down in this story took me somewhat by surprise. Probably mostly because I didn’t actually know in what year it came down and so couldn’t make an educated guess on what life-altering moment was about to occur… I need to brush up on my history badly.
I’ve now read a few Pat Cadigan short stories and I always find them surprisingly fun. And just plain surprising… they never quite fit into the storyline and themes of the rest of the collections I find them in. But yet, their tenuous connections work so well that I’m surprised I never thought of it myself. Picking Up the Pieces is exactly the kind of story which does that for me. It’s got the great trickster vibe to it, but in a completely contemporary and family driven set up. After all, we will all do anything for our family, even when they’re kind of difficult and definitely an avenue for chaos.
I too have a little sister that just seemed to be golden. She is just so unbelievably good. Alright, she’s not like Quinn in this story because she’s not over the top. Or a little too easily distracted. But I would still totally fly to Germany to try and help get her out of trouble… even if it was of her own making…