By Lynette G. Esposito
Monte Carlo Days & Nights by Susan Tepper is a book filled with delightful short and short short stories that both entertain and amuse.
Published in soft cover by Rain Mountain Press, the stories take the reader on journeys that encompass the contemporary experience. Of the twenty-two stories, my favorite is Adjacent toCentral Park. Tepper sets the situation of two lovers in an upscale hotel room and all is seemingly going well as the reader sees the scene from the female narrator’s point of view. Then—all is not going so well from the physical standpoint. How can one have sex at the Ritz Carlton in New York City and not be able to take a hot shower afterwards? The man at the front desk claims there is a water main break so there is no water at all in the hotel A freebie is offered for next time. For this time, our narrator and her companion send out for baby wipes just as if they were ordering pizza to be delivered. She claims she has used them successfully on a plane in flight. The language and circumstance of the characters is realistic and believable. While the situation is farcical, the depiction of modern life is serious.
My second favorite of the stories is Monte. It is simple, short, direct, and yet reveals the different ways men and women approach each other. This story is more of a vignette rather than the beginning, middle, end structure of a fictional short story. As a slice of life amidst the other stories, it works well in revealing two characters circling each other n a relationship. The suggestive images of the hotel, the swimsuit, the hunger work both literally and figuratively. Do women consider going topless…yes but no. The reader is in the female narrator’s head.
The final story in the book, Dinner, brings closure to the days and nights depicted throughout the sequence of encounters. Our narrator, wearing a red spandex dress and no pantyhose, looks so “hot” her lover proposes marriage if he were the marrying kind. How sweet, how ironic how no discussion of love or respect– just almost cold analysis with lust as the common denominator. Trepper has a light touch on a subject where so many others write a long agonizing soliloquy on the “he loves me, he loves me not” boy meets girl storyline.
The 74 page book is an easy read sharing a contemporized voice with modern perceptions and situations.
The author, Susan Tepper, has been a marketing manager, a flight attendant, an interior decorator, and an award-winning author. To find out more about her go to:
You can find the book here: Monte Carlo Days Nights
Lynette G. Esposito has been an Adjunct Professor at Rowan University, Burlington County and Camden County Colleges. She has taught creative writing and conducted workshops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Esposito holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois and an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Rutgers University.