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“Night Hunting”

Megan Bergman’s “Night Hunting” features a young woman trying to cope with her mother’s terminal cancer, similarly resonating with the melancholic tone the narrator often possesses in each of Bergman’s short stories featured in the Birds of a Lesser Paradise collection. This story, however, failed to keep my attention as efficiently as her other pieces, though I think stylistically this story was more straightforward.

Millie’s appearance in the story is what provoked my interest more so than any of the characters and/or events prior. The unconventionality of her age and character, a 100 year old woman who annually plays the violin and is legendary for her triumphant battle against a cougar, grabbed my interest more than Hannah’s strange admiration for coyotes or her Mother’s indecisiveness concerning where they would reside. Personally, I found the story dry without contextual appeal. Forcibly, I read through each page without resonation to the main character or plot and only found Millie and Hannah’s attraction to Erik, a survivalist, emotionally appealing.

It could be inferred that Hannah’s attraction to Erik was a result of her basic upbringing; she, too, lived in wild places and spent time in a trailer. It only makes sense that she would enjoy the company of another individual with similar interests. Her mother, however, disagreed with Hannah’s attraction to Erik, supported when she says,

He’d suck the joy out of a young girl’s life,”

and as a reader I wonder where Hannah’s father is and why he remains unmentioned throughout the text. Perhaps it can be inferred that he was an older man such as Erik, Hannah’s mom personally afflicted by a relationship of similar constituents.

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