Sorry for your Trouble is a collection of short, but poignant stories that capture a small schism in time, a time which when viewed in retrospect could be something, or nothing other than a mere passing of time.
Richard Ford very carefully presents many moments in time when perhaps a different decision may have been made, leading to a different outcome, looking backwards facing forward. A man meeting a former lover, wondering what may have happened if they had remained together, realising all the while that even thought this was not to be, but maybe perhaps, curious to discover if that ‘flame’ they once kindled was still alight there somewhere is captured in Nothing To Declare with the final acceptance of a youth once enjoyed, a present a reality.
The death of a sometimes husband and partner also places friendship in the spotlight with Happy; a woman always living on the edge, accepting the hand of friendship but always on her own terms.
Leaving For Kenosha is a delicate piece dedicated to friendship, acceptance and understanding, when a young school friend is worried about leaving to live in Kenosha, a place where she will have to begin afresh, a place where she and her family have to move to in the wake of devastating floods, job loss and change.
Through the nine short stories is a thread of loss, hope, change and humanity, basically people and their emotions examined for better or worse, or simply as it is, the detritus of a life lived or not, examined with heart-rendering details from a skilled observer of life’s many foibles.
Short stores by their very nature are only about a moment in time, no specific beginning and no specific ending, leaving the reader to fill in the gaps, to create a fuller picture, draw on their own life experiences to flesh out the story.
Ford has managed, rather successfully in Sorry for your Trouble to offer nine conflicting and yet similar palates from which to create fuller or more generous pictures of we humans, all too delicate, fragile and in many cases always wondering or wanting more!