Week 13 sees me draw the six of spades and now I’m heading back to Tamas Dobozy’s Siege 13 and “Days of Orphans and Strangers”. Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis. You can find the general guidelines and my list for this year from this post.
I’m rather glad we’re getting most of the stories from this book out of the way early. While they’ve been enjoyable, they aren’t some of my favorite stories I’ve read. The one story I really liked out of these was “The Ghosts of Budapest and Toronto” which told the story of Maria and Laszlo. You can read my post about that story in my week 11 post.
“Days of Orphans and Strangers” takes up the story again of Maria and Laszlo but Dobozy now adds a twist: according to a new character, adopted Jeno, what if the original story was fake? What if Laszlo wasn’t really who he says he is and Maria really wasn’t Laszlo’s wife, but his mother? This nearly broke me until I got to the end of the story.
“Days” talks about Jeno’s obsession with proving Laszlo’s story false. Laszlo’s niece, Helena plays interloper trying to mend fences with Laszlo and Jeno and eventually she suggests a camping trip like they used to do in years past. During the trip, Jeno explains why he thinks or needs Laszlo’s story to be different – because he needs to desperately believe that someone like an older brother has been looking out for him and continues to do so. If Maria was Laszlo’s mother and not his wife, then there was an opening for Maria to be Jeno’s mother also. The way the trip and the story ends leaves the reader a bit of an option as to what they choose to believe: the original story, this new version of Laszlo and Maria, or some combination of the two. And that was that out I was looking for to make peace with the original story.