I recently finished David Gowey's short story, Jire, a beautiful piece that defied a lot of my expectations. He avoided all the easy answers to the problems he raised, and the result is a very well-thought out, heartstring-pulling piece. You have to feel something for Jire. You have to want better for her. Her pain is so real, and her situation so familiar. The decision she makes at the end, whether you agree with it or not, begs the question: "Would I have had the strength to do that?"
Here's the review I wrote for Goodreads:
In Jire, Gowey takes a serious look at poverty, colonialism, and the endurance of the human spirit. With the odds stacked against her, Jire has to balance, every day, between the weight of caring for a father who bleeds her dry, and the weight of a society that demands every bit of effort she can muster in exchange for food. Every choice she makes influences her chances for survival.
Gowey offers us a day in the life of Jire, a day that turns out differently in many respects, and yet the same in others. The language is elegant and yet real, the dialogue terse and believable, and the message is universal.
If you would like to experience the world of Jire for yourself, check out the link below. As of the time of this posting, Jire is free for those with Amazon Unlimited.
And if you would like to learn more about David Gowey and his other fiction, check out the interview I did with him just a couple weeks ago: