REVIEW: “Camping With City Boy” by Jerri Jerreat

Review of Jerri Jerreat, “Camping With City Boy”, in Glass and Gardens: Solar Punk Summers, edited by Sarena Ulibarri, (World Weaver Press, 2018): 82-104 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology).

I loved the breezy, chatty tone Makemba, the narrator, takes in this story — bringing the reader in and making them a part of the story, a part of the wider backdrop. She drops hints and pieces about the way the world is, but always in a way so it seems that we’re being told things we already know:

…there were a lot of nostalgic [films] that year about the failed Mao25 settlement. Tragic, right? Who can watch those without tearing up? (p. 83).

Listening to her narrate her excursion into the wilderness with her city boy boyfriend, Rich, was a real treat — her voice was vital, her principles strong, and her love for her place infused everything. She’s the sort of person I think I’d like to hang out with, and I spent the entire story rooting for her happy ending, and was delighted when she got it. This is, so far, my favorite story of the collection.

Only one thing distracted me, and that was that Makemba’s best friend’s name flip-flopped between Kojo and Koji, and I couldn’t figure out if this was deliberate or a series of typos.