The Pier End
Jane V. King
Balboa Press (2020)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (11/2021)
“The Pier End” by Jane V. King reminds me of the phrase “YOLO,” meaning, “You only live once.” The story is a short play that revolves around a man named Jack and his contributions to a small town with problems. Jack believes that he is doing what is right by helping the townsfolk, and he is certainly helping others in positive ways, but he’s doing no favors for himself.
Jack is a young man who appears to have everything going for him – community connections, the praise and respect of peers, as well as multiple love ladies. For what others see as good, Jack sees as not good enough – he is essentially an orphan with both parents elsewhere, and he shames himself for not having the ability to commit to one lady. In secret, he belittles himself for these downfalls, yet knows that he is needed in certain people’s lives. Readers (or watchers of the play) will follow Jack in his search of himself, who his parents are, and what becomes of his relationships.
I enjoyed the fact that the play is short and to the point. “The Pier End” would make an entertaining community play for actors of every skill level that includes lively songs, dramatic storylines, and a happy ending for everyone. Thankfully, the storyline is easy to follow along. The theme of the play is to enjoy life, especially when good things are happening because you only live once, so why not make the most of it?! Another theme along with this is to have patience; it is impossible to know our future, so having patience amid inner and outer trials may well pay off in the end.
Lovers of plays and short stories will find “The Pier End” enjoyable and a quick read.