Making It, Amanda Gibbs’ debut short story, invites readers into the most intimate and personal moments of a couple’s life, spanning throughout decades. The story is told through prose, poetry, dialogue, lists, and focused vignettes, all with Amanda’s signature concrete voice. Each entry of Making It represents a day in a year of the couple’s relationship, spanning from first meeting to 30th anniversary.
What I possibly love the most about this very well written novel is that it is a story about true love that was inspired by unrequited love. Before readers even meet the couple, the author dedicates the novel to the one that she could never have. It’s sad and beautiful in a way I doubt I could ever explain properly.
Besides the author’s own unfortunate run-in with love, the book features a pair of unusual lovers. Readers don’t know their names and aren’t even given an in-depth look at the lovers’ history but would still feel the special kind of love that keeps this couple all the way to their 30th Anniversary. The woman has her own quirks and inhibitions. The man is understanding, acceptably weird at times and knows the best answers to the woman’s deep and emotion-fueled questions. It’s really intriguing how they got together. The man meets her while she’s at the bar with her friends. He comes on to her and gets harshly turned down, but he’s relentless and gets her to dance with him. After that, they go through 30 years of understanding each other, accepting each other’s secrets and revealing their innermost thoughts. It’s a kind of marriage most people strive to obtain and few (these days) actually do.
However, the best thing about Making It is the way the lovers’ tale is told. Instead of the usual writing style that most authors adhere to, Amanda Gibbs decides to tell their story through peculiar channels. My favorite has to be when the couple’s discussions are voiced through dialogue. In a particular dialogue between the lovers, I get to see what they’re saying to one another and what they actually mean to say. This method of storytelling allowed me to actually get a better insight into who these characters are and why they’re the perfect fit for one another. I think the most upsetting dialogue sequence and moment in the story is when the couple is sleeping together for the first time. No sex, just sleeping side by side one another for the entire night. Our society has managed to distort the way we view trust. Somehow, it’s easier to trust someone with our bodies than it is to trust them with our hearts. It was heart-breaking to read about how uncomfortable and awkward the characters are when it comes to sleeping next to someone for the night. They’ve had sex. They know how one another looks without clothes on, but what truly worries them is how they will appear to each other throughout the night and the next morning; bad morning breath, no make-up on, bed head, snoring, and drooling. However, our lovers seem to overcome this challenge once they actually lie down together and both wake the next morning as comfortable as if they’ve done it a thousand times.
I also liked the part where the author used “sext” messages to relate the parts of one another that the couple truly adored. It wasn’t racy or distasteful but more about the couples’ innermost thoughts that they share with each other, things that they enjoy about each other and non-sexual things that they hope to be able to do with one another.
Love is something so pure, so precious, and so easily obtainable if we know exactly where to look. Amanda Gibbs does an excellent job of showing readers what happens when a couple finds love in the most unusual place. I enjoyed reading this short novel (just in case it wasn’t obvious before) and look forward to more short stories, poems, and novels from this author.
About the Author
Amanda Gibbs is an eighteen-year-old student, photographer, and actress from Toronto, Canada. Writing since preschool with Crayola crayons, Amanda’s passion is writing stories that make the mundane beautiful, and the little moments in life profound. Inspired by writers like Michael Faudet, Jamie McGuire, and Walt Whitman, Amanda loves experimenting with form, dialogue, and combining poetry and prose. In her spare time, Amanda trains in mixed martial arts and takes care of her six dogs, as well as procrastinating schoolwork to write her next book.
Find out more about the author here:
Author website: www.amandagibbs.com
Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoramandagibbs
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13798681.Amanda_Gibbs
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandaellengibbs
Author Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BpHth6
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