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!