Title: Harmless Adjustment
Author: Kerry Kinlan
Page Count: 54 KB (Kindle format, about 9500 words)
Genre: suspense, short story
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review
John knows he can’t change the past, can’t undo the one thing he now wishes he had dealt with differently. But what if he can change the painful memories of it in his wife’s mind? Would that bring instant healing to her and to their relationship?
A short review for a short book! This story is more of a cautionary tale than anything- if presented with the possibility of making problems just go away, would you? What if those problems involved someone you love?
This is exactly the situation in which John finds himself regarding his wife, Natalie. John and Natalie are bouncing around from one crappy situation to another, trying to make ends meet in impossible situations, and Natalie's mental health is deteriorating, especially in light of the birth of their son. John doesn't see things from Natalie's point of view but understands that he's got to do something or else his marriage is over, plain and simple.
The solution John comes up with is to talk to Amaria, a witch, about removing all of Natalie's memories from the past three years, which is the amount of time that their life has been in shambles. When Amaria says she'll erase all the memories from that time, she means it; literally not a single memory will survive. The implications of this should be pretty clear.
There is a lot going on in a very short number of pages here, and a lot of ground is covered very quickly, even though there are only a few characters and most of them are referenced incidentally. The ultimate dilemma of the story- what price would you pay, or have someone else pay, to have your circumstances be different? You'll have to read the book to find out the answers to those questions, at least as to how they play out in Harmless Adjustment.
I will say, honestly, that there's a very quick and even build up of events and a very quick resolution that leaves quite a bit to the imagination. I think a certain amount of this is to be expected, though, I mean it is a short story.
Will this story be for everyone? Probably not, but most things aren't, and the price point ($.99 on Amazon but free for Prime members) is fair.
Kerry Kinlan has graciously offered up three digital copies of Harmless Adjustment to participants in the festival! To enter, just fill out the giveaway form below. Good luck!
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