Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Couched as a Question by Jane Davitt
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 29 pages


When Matt's partner Jordan suggests redecorating, Matt's agreeable until he discovers it means getting rid of the red couch. They bought that couch together, and they've done a lot more than sit on it. It means a lot to Matt and if Jordan's bored of it, maybe it's not the only part of Jordan's life he wants to change...


Jane Davitt’s created a delightful story of muddled expectations and slightly crossed wires. With her established couple, she managed to play with the state of the relationship all under the guise of interior decoration. Couched as a Question meets the leather theme for this year’s Charity Sips with a three-cushioned answer to the question “What are we to each other, really?”

Matt’s invested the big red leather couch with all the symbolism of his relationship with Jordan. Buying that couch together and living with it as the centerpiece of their little apartment makes the couch the tangible symbol of what he and Jordan have. The couch has suffered under a kitty’s claws, and now it won’t go with the new paint scheme—Matt’s terrified that he’s lost his luster as much as the enormous piece of furniture has.

Jordan’s amusing and flighty—he has trouble making up his mind. For Matt, the mere fact that they settled on the couch as one of their first acts as a couple invests it with meaning, but for Jordan, it’s something to sit on, sprawl on, and get rid of as needed. Matt’s not giving a lot of hints about what’s bothering him in this redecoration scheme, as if just saying it aloud will bring all his worst fears to reality.

Jane Davitt always does lovely characterization, and when it’s coupled with Matt’s frantic inner thoughts and Jordan’s deeper than expected self-knowledge, we get a really charming story with the kind of ending that neither Matt nor I saw coming. It may be Couched as a Question but it’s a giant AW!! moment for the couple and their relationship. 5 Marbles

5 marbles

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