This fiction is almost certainly from Moore’s forthcoming novel, and in my opinion it does not work as a story. There’s a bit of tension, but nothing sustained, and no conflict that I can see. Tassie, a small town girl living in another small town where she’s in college, is looking for work as a babysitter. She’s smart enough, but socially backward. Still, she’s hired by a woman who is adopting a baby, and she wants Tassie to be present every step of the way. Well, that’s nice. Not much tension there. It’s not even very odd.
What is odd is that the woman’s husband isn’t gone, but he isn’t present in the story either, and Tassie’s father is somehow important, but he isn’t present either. He’s a hobbyist farmer and . . . well, that’s nice, too. So Tassie goes with Sarah to meet the mother whose baby will soon be adopted. The woman, a pretty girl with no teeth (a meth addict?) who is on probation for whatever it is she’s done, isn’t very happy with Sarah. At the end, it isn’t clear that the girl will give Sarah the baby after all.
Okay, this is nice writing, but it isn’t even interesting enough a set up to persuade me to buy the novel when it comes out. It looks like Sarah will get some kind of baby and Tassie will be provide childcare. And . . . what else? Please tell me there’s more to it than that!
July 6 & 13: “Childcare” by Lorrie Moore