The Pocket Watch by Cheyne Curry
I’ve always said that I don’t review stories I don’t like. I’ll make an exception, this time. It’s not the story that’s at fault, rather my ability to deal with angst and an ending which is not so happy.
When Jenna looks out of her window at the working place of her partner in the 95th storey of the World Trade Centre, everything seems to be OK. Five Minutes later… yes, we’re talking about 9/11. Jenna is a fire fighter, and of course she heads out to see if she can help in the face of catastrophy, all the while worrying about the fate of her partner, Brynne.
The story puts the reader right in the middle of the chaos: confusion, dread. sheer physical exhaustion, narrated from Jenna’s point of view. It takes some nerve to read, and I cannot help but wonder how Cheyne felt writing it.
There is a shift in perspective at the end, something I don’t usually appreciate. It is necessary in this case, though.
I am of two minds whether to suggest reading The Pocket Watch, or warn against it. But then, the people involved did not have the choice, but had to live or die right there.
Brilliant, but depressing.