Something Hidden
by Elaine Margolis

Peppertree Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9823002-7-5.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 08/26/2009


As I read this book, it occurred to me that something was missing. Then I realized that the title of the book gives the reader a hint about what's inside; each story leaves the reader wondering what is "hidden."

In "Two for One" there is a brunette with green eyes and long legs who was a sprinter like her namesake—a race horse. "Intangibles" is about remodeling with the lowest bidder where a steel beam triumphed. "The Dragon Box" finds a lonely woman who says her children "were strangers who always seemed to be glad to see her but happier when she left." "A Biker's Requiem" has a father who told his son, "You can't waste your life in a greasy garage. You have prospects, you can go to a good university, learn a profession. Be somebody." The biker said, "I am somebody." And to his friends, he was. "The Other Side of the Wave" imparts the lesson to be careful because there's more to life than just enjoying yourself.

Each story is different and interesting—others feature a growing boy, love affairs, a haunting portrait, a crowded bar, demons, a chilling mime, dreams, and a spider woman—all unique in content and point of view. You can't always tell where the stories are going. And, for me at least, it was difficult to tell what the ending was going to be. A book with so many varied and diverse thoughts makes one stop and think. Not an easy read, because the reader continually needs to be probing beneath the surface and looking beyond the obvious. If you like to look for hidden meanings, this could be a book for you.

Elaine Margolis mostly concentrates on fiction, though she recently completed a memoir, A Picturebook On The Wall. She has also published a novel and several short stories included in this collection. She and her husband split their time between Florida and a suburb on Chicago's North Shore.

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