Short Story #260: Reunion by John Cheever

Title:  Reunion 

Author:  John Cheever

Summary

Photo of John Cheever.  Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Johncheever.jpg
The narrator tells us that the last time he saw his father was in Grand Central Station.  His parents were divorce and living in different places.  He was passing through New York and it was an opportunity to see him.  They meet and the father starts talking plans while the narrator, Charlie tries to take in the moment since there are so few between he and his father.  They go out of the station and find a restaurant.  The father is pushy to the waiter and chides him for not hurrying enough.  His rudeness is enough that the waiter tells him to go elsewhere.  Father and son go off to another restaurant, and the same scene repeats.  They enter a third restaurant and here again, when questions are raised about how the father is conducting himself, they leave and go to a fourth restaurant.  At this point, Charlie says that he has to get his train and the father is a bit defeated.  As they return, the father offers to get him a newspaper for the train ride but no sooner does he talk with the news vendor then he picks another fight over irrelevant details.  Charlie tells him that he needs to leave and his father is too busy arguing, so Charlie lieves and that is the last time he sees his father.  

Reflection

The story is short but it packs well the challenging relationship between fathers and sons.  There is already a clear separation between father and son because of the divorce but the story as it plays out is both a condemnation of his father and a desire to have had just something more with his father.  Charlie is clearly torn and the story captured it well.  

Short Story #260 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  8/1/2014
Source:  The short story can be found at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.



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