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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Ian Minielly pens a profoundly dramatic look into the depth of love in Emily’s Tears. Emily wakes believing it is just another normal day, then the doorbell rings. At the door is a stranger, holding a package and an envelope he has been waiting 25 years to deliver. Through the speaker on the door, the man states he must place the letter from her first parents directly in her hand before he can leave. Her first parents, what? Reluctantly, yet filled with curiosity, Emily allows him to enter. Filled with a barrage of questions, Emily is overwhelmed by what she hears. The message he delivers, the loving words written in the note, and the contents of the package from her unknown first parents was too much to process. Buried childhood memories awake, tears and fear besiege her. Are her first parents crazy or incredibly loving? Emily wills herself to discover the truth.
Emily’s Tears by Ian Minielly evokes an onslaught of emotions. The short story pierces your heart with a wrenching pain, incites fierce anger towards injustice, and unshakeable fear of the unknown and of the truth. However, love triumphs over them all. Minielly’s novella depicts the cause and effect of our actions. There are consequences, whether good or bad, to our choices. Newton’s Third Law states: for every action, there is an “equal and opposite” reaction. The cast of characters surrounding the main character reveals this truth. Each character is a force; acting, reacting and interacting in Emily’s life. The battle for custody, the tug of war of personal beliefs, lies versus truth triangulate to form the conflict within the narrative.
In Emily’s Tears, we see the unquenchable force of loving parents as they react to the evil thrust upon them. Being raised a Southern Baptist, the characterization of the MacNeelys, like them or not, is spot on. They call a spade a spade, don’t water down their resentment toward evil, live a life of prayer, and love sacrificially and whole-heartedly. And, yes, of course, food and fellowship is the answer to most everything. Minielly pens the elements of his short story with a ready pen. Twenty-five years is compressed within a few chapters. However, Emily’s Tears won’t be easily forgotten; it contains a lifetime of truth and love.