The Best of Everything, Richard Yates, ELEVEN KINDS OF LONELINESS

by Patti Abbott

Sometime you forget how effortless reading can be when the writing is in expert hands. Richard Yates is such a writer. His stories are dark, unflinching looks at unhappy people–people much like himself sadly but he tells them so wonderfully, you don’t mind the angst.

Grace and Ralph are about to get married. At first we see the day before the wedding from her point of view: her best friend has warned her against marrying Ralph and she has doubts herself.  When we get to Ralph’s POV, we see he is a child-man who is incapable of being a good husband. He is dull and dreary.

At story’s end, it is clear they will marry and clear they will be miserable. This story was written in 1952.


Patti Abbott