Where or When by Anita Shreve

1134 Words5 Pages
Where or When by Anita Shreve For my second reading selection I chose Where or When, also written by Anita Shreve. There are two main characters, Charles and Sian. Charles sees Sian's picture in the newspaper because she has just released another poetry book. They knew each other 31 years ago when they both attended a camp at The Ridge. Charles (known as Cal to Sian when they were younger) feels compelled to be reunited with her. They correspond with each other for a time and are reunited the Thursday following November 30, about two months from the first letter. Together they find what it is they thought they shared when they were 14 years old. There are many more complications now in their lives such as husbands, children, and tradition. They search for ways to overcome these problems and find the innocent bliss they once had reveled in. The struggle is not easy and ends unfortunately tragically. There are two prominent female roles in this story, Sian and Charles's wife, Harriet. Sian's eyes "are nearly navy, with flecks of gold" (89) her skin is pale, and "there are wrinkles in the corners of her eyes and below them, her forehead unlined-high and white." "She dresses in black, all the time, simple and straight, because then everything goes with everything. Her voice is deeper than she expected and she speaks slowly. She removes them from their case, clear glasses with thin wire frames, and puts them on. He did not know she wore glasses."(90) "Her neck is long and white, there are small discoloration's, like freckles but not, on the backs of her hands and inside the neckline of her blouse. Her nails are cut short, unpainted."(92) "Her hair is loose and wavy; he remembers it as kind of pale bronze"(23) Sian is a professor and a poet, she has a few books out, this last one consisting of some thirty poems in a slim volume with a paper cover in a matte finish. She is married to a man named Stephen, and has only one child, a daughter Lilly, who is three years old. She, at one time had a son, "His name was Brian and was killed in a car accident six years ago when he was nine."(97) Sian's attitude in general is guarded and throughout her life she appeared to not ever be truly happy.

More about Where or When by Anita Shreve

Open Document