Review of Mandy DeGeit’s “She Makes Me Smile”
She Makes Me Smile has gotten a lot of press based on what a particular publisher did under the guise of editing this work, which originally appeared in an anthology. I won’t get into details of this here, because there are plenty of explanations out there, including one from the author included with this story. Suffice it to say, I am happy that the author has had the chance to reveal her story to the public without the adornments installed by others who sought to change her work into something completely different.
She Makes Me Smile is a story told in first person about two people, one of which is bound and gagged and sitting on a couch while the other puzzles over why they have done this horrible act to their one and only friend. There is confusion on their part, though emotions in general are something they don’t really experience…at least not until the urge to tie up their friend and do even worse things to them occurs. That is where the title of the story comes in to play.
This is a simple story, unencumbered by complex details. While the past of the character who narrates is touched upon, no depth of detail yields explanation as to why they’ve crossed the line. And while their victim is definitely female, we don’t know if the main character is a man or a woman, so it is also impossible for us to interpret things based on perceived gender roles. The simple elements of this story make it work, and made me curious. We readers tend to want to fill in the blanks on a tale-anything an author leaves out. Mandy DeGeit has given us a very sparsely drawn on canvas here, which allowed the dark avenues of my own mind to fill in all the gaps. Simple, sparse, and yet effectively disturbing.
You can find She Makes Me Smile here: http://www.amazon.com/She-Makes-Me-Smile-ebook/dp/B0085KMVAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338051843&sr=8-1