The Closed Door - You would think that after ten years of marriage, Ernest and Alice would be over the moon to finally become parents. But poor Stella is merely a hindrance to the family routine and a drain on their more than adequate budget. Any small rays of happiness are dashed by her mean parents and Stella comes to the brink of a physical and mental breakdown. Will she ever recover enough spirit to become a vital woman with confidence and self-esteem?
The Rose - Elsie Smith is Joe's second wife and finding fault with almost everything he does is a pastime of hers. She even gestures from the front window for him to correct his posture as he goes off to work. One day, Elsie is convinced Joe is up to something behind her back and she's going to catch him at it! Which one is in for a surprise?
Youth - Cue some Big Band music for this evocative story about eighteen year-old Anne, and her aunt, Miss Morley. Not one to engage in much frivolity, the spinster takes her niece on an outing to London. Her displeasure at Anne's insistence on visiting a dance hall is clearly evident but what can happen during a bit of music in the afternoon? The repressed Anne meets the gaze of Pilot-Officer, Geoffrey Lawton and she flushes with excitement. Hmmm...spinter aunt versus handsome officer. Anne has a dilemma on her hands, or does she?
The Handbag - Mrs West is married to an extremely busy Councillor. William used to take his wife along on his trips away and to various functions but lately she has been left behind. She feels every bit of her forty-eight years, in fact, she's looking even older than her husband these days. Not at all glamorous like the widowed Mrs Wintersley who works closely with her husband. One day a package arrives at the house. Inside is a handbag accompanied by a letter which Mrs West reads while sinking onto her bed.
I bet you are dying to know what it says aren't you! If you have a copy of The Closed Door and Other Stories languishing on your shelf you are probably already halfway to the bookcase to find out!
There are six more stories for me to read but I'm on the desk Saturday morning at the library. So watch this space for more snippets and enjoy the rest of Persephone Reading Weekend!
I love the excerpts and the bits from the various books for this weekend. There is a big but... accessibility to these books is zero!!!!! Keep the reviews and notes coming on please - at least then we get to know a bit more about these books.ReplyDelete
This selection was my introduction to Dorothy Whipple Darlene and like you I absolutely loved the stories. They're all so perfect in their own way. My favourite is in the last half. Can't wait to hear which is yours!ReplyDelete
Ah, Darlene, I am halfway towards the bookcase to find out± I'm sure "The Handbag" was in an anthology I gave to a friend for Christmas and I planned on reading it then before giving it to her but never did, fearing I'd crease the spine.ReplyDelete
Miss Buncle has just arrived through the letter box (she is very slim, after all!) I can now join in the reading this weekend ...ReplyDelete
I know I've read this but I have such a hopeless memory for short stories!ReplyDelete
I pulled Minnie's Room (Mollie P-D) down from the shelf last night -and I've read most of those before, too, but they're a hazy memory. Though I don't think they're anything like as good as her wartime stories.
Oh, you've really tempted me! You've made these sound so gripping and interesting. Whilst reading your description of Elsie in 'The Rose', I had visions of Mrs Bucket (pronounced Bouquet!) instructing Richard as he went off to work. I simply have to find a copy of this now :-) Thank you! This is the joy of PRW :-)ReplyDelete
Just a PS, but what a coincidence: Miss Buncle lives at Tanglewood Cottage ... our house is called Tanglewood.ReplyDelete
Mystica, I will do my best! There will be plenty of posts to read around the blogs this weekend...enjoy!ReplyDelete
ramblingfancy, My pot of tea is steeping and then it's on to the second half!
Paperback Reader, A miner's lamp and a light touch should have done the job, Claire! You are a most considerate friend...and give great gifts!
Margaret, Hahaha...good thing she's slim! And isn't that a delightful coincidence about the name of your house! We don't name houses here, I wish we did *sigh*.
mary, I only became a fan of short stories after reading Panter-Downes wartime collection, and yes, they appealed much more to me too.
Cristina, Hyacinth exactly! This is such a lovely collection, you won't be sorry.
Yes, a bit daft to give houses names, I suppose but where would Diary of a Nobody be without The Laurels or Jane Eyes without Thornfield Hall? Having just a number wouldn't be half as evocative, would it?
Loving Miss Buncle already ... by the way, you mention Mollie Panter-Downes. I searched for (and found) on the internet her Letter from London (originally published in the New Yorker) ... this makes a very good companion volume to Vere Hodgson's Few Egggs and No Oranges.
The stories sound wonderful, and I'll look for them...but in the meantime, could I have that coat instead?ReplyDelete
Thank you for posting on these first four stories! I love almost all of Dorothy Whipple's books, and I just have one more novel to go before I try out this collection. You've provided me with even more of an incentive to give them a go. Thanks again!ReplyDelete
I love the illustrations you come up with for your blog posts--that's a great photo. My library (at my urging ahem) bought this Whipple collection so I am looking forward to reading it eventually!ReplyDelete
I LOVE these stories...absolutely gripping. I only wished they were longer! You are such a tease Darlene!ReplyDelete
What intriguing teasers. I read the collection a while ago but I feel I need to reread a couple of those stories now.ReplyDelete
Just finished these four last night and now can't wait to pick it up again tonight. This must be one of my favorite Persephones so far!ReplyDelete
Margaret, Thank you for passing on that information about Panter-Downes!ReplyDelete
Audrey, It is quite fetching isn't it...a real showstopper!
aliterarywayfarer, Hello and thanks for stopping by! I am so glad that I could tempt you...this is a fab collection and you won't be sorry if you buy a copy...promise!
Danielle, Hahaha...and I have fun digging them up! You are in for a treat with this collection and I am so glad to hear of North American libraries stocking DW.
bookssnob, Oh I sooo wish there were twice as many. But really, would we ever be satisfied...I think not!
lyn, Oh, aren't they wonderful and yes, definitely worth pulling out again...and again!
Kristina, I'm so glad that you enjoyed them every bit as much as I did! And to think that I used to shun the short story...doesn't bear thinking about.
Very nicely written post..now I am itching to just go and buy and read this book !!ReplyDelete