Lying on his metal bed next to the tin can toilet, a man reminisces about days past, a time long before he was introduced to the tiny box in which he lives, a time when he was just a young man sitting at table 9 in the small diner along Route 56-the diner where he met Jessie.
I really enjoyed this short story. Conners says his two short stories, Table 9 and Adventures in Retail, are stepping stones to working towards his full length novel, and based on Table 9, I'm interested to see what his first full length novel will be like.
Throughout the short story there was a mystery of who this nameless man was, why he was in jail, and what this woman, Jessie, had to do with it all. The story was told in the man’s flashbacks and present POV, and I usually do not like books like that because I like getting straight to the point. However, Table 9 was the kind of short story that fit that kind of storytelling.
As the story went on I got to see the man's problems progress and in the end, he does something that winds him up in jail. I have to say that this short story really surprised me. There was a really slow build of anticipation because at the beginning we already know that the man is in jail, but we don't know why. As the story goes on, we get to uncover what happened, but we also get to see his relationship with Jessie grow. What surprised me is how attached I felt to Jessie in the short amount of time it took me to get to know her and to read this story. The ending made my heart sink for sure. That just goes to show you that no matter how short a story is, strong characters with a lot of emotional influence can quickly grab ahold of your heart.
One thing I would have changed in this story was the heavy description. I'm more of an interactive person and sometimes pages full of just description or reflection from the character can cause me to lose interest. I was close to losing interest and skipping a paragraph or two, but I wanted to stick with it because I wanted to see where the story ended up. Nevertheless, Conners' descriptions and reflections were good and the anticipation for getting my questions answered kept me reading. All in all, I would give it four out of five stars.