Title: Rio Grande, Wisconsin
Author: JoAnn Novak
Pages: 28 Pages
Publisher: Day One
This story was originally published in Day One, a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction and poetry from emerging writers.
Frankie is twelve, and she’s feeling a bit too old for family vacations. So on yet another trip to the Wisconsin Dells, she’ll use the rudimentary coping skills available to preadolescents: fake-sleeping in the car, ignoring her parents, tormenting her brother. And, of course, fantasizing about Bill Murray.
Her mother wants Frankie to watch her weight, but the tween refuses to police her body—or to be ashamed of her enjoyment of it. At every opportunity—in the pool, during dinner, at the wax museum—her mom pushes, and Frankie pushes back.
Imaginative and honest, Rio Grande, Wisconsin is a coming-of-age story about the awkward and dysfunctional ways mothers and daughters show love, and how one unique girl attempts to feed the insatiable existential hunger that comes with growing up.
I read Rio Grande, Wisconsin unsure about what it would be about but I was intrigued by the cover. What I got was a story that was just a little bit pointless and a lot under-developed. The development of the story, of there being an actual point to the story would have made it more enjoyable but all I felt after reading it from beginning to end was that I had just wasted my time.
Rio Grande, Wisconsin by JoAnn Novak is available now.