Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Evangeline and the Forbidden Lighthouse, by Emily B. Cataneo

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(Magical Realism) On the coast of Maine, Cady and her friend, Evangeline, find bottles that wash up with messages about the future. (5,968 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention
Recommended By: SFRevu+1

"Evangeline and the Forbidden Lighthouse," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 270, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The story is about how during childhood, the world seems full of promise and anything is possible, but as we grow older, the options go away until all of life seems predestined. The messages in the bottle turn this idea into concrete reality.

The Lighthouse is a one-way trip to another world. It seems to symbolize suicide—the only way out of the game.

Predestined it might be (as the story says), but the friendship between Cady and Evangeline is very real. It feels just like a childhood friendship. The random way they meet, the way it survives occasional quarrels, and the way it fades away as they grow up.

Evangeline fiercely resists the idea of an unchangeable future. She doesn’t want her life to change in ways out of her control. Her message doubtless says that today Evangeline will depart for the Lighthouse and never return.

Cady never reconciles herself to her fate. Although she fulfills everything in the message’s prophecy, she returns to seek the Lighthouse for herself.

Con: Cady isn’t much of a protagonist; she’s not trying to accomplish anything until the final paragraphs, where she's abandoning her husband and her small children who need her.

These prophecies would be easy to break because they’re so specific. Evangeline would do better to try to defy the message rather than fulfill it.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 270)
Emily B. Cataneo Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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