Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Dorothy Whipple Does It Again
I just realized that about a year ago I blogged about how Dorothy Whipple cured my book slump (you can find my post on that here). How funny that she should come to my rescue again this year and with the same book, The Closed Door and Other Stories. Last year, I only had to read one story from that collection to get back my reading groove. This year I read a few more from this book. Whipple is always such a warm and cozy writer. Her books are the kind you just want to curl up with on a rainy day. It's been wonderful to delve back into her again. I've read most of her novels so all I have left is this short story collection. I didn't read all the stories because who knows when I'll have the book slumps again? I better save some of these wonders.
Actually, I'm not a fan of short stories in general and that's because I love a meaty story where I get to know the characters and I can be transported to another place. Short stories always leave me hanging. I always wish they were longer. Somehow Whipple manages these little gems quite brilliantly that I'm left satisfied. Though some of them are very short they're still perfectly crafted. It's also interesting how Whipple has led me to read other short stories by other writers. I'm now appreciating this genre so much more than I did before.
The Closed Door is the longest story in the book at 75 pages. It's about a daughter who lives with her stifling and controlling parents and feels powerless to break free and live her own life. The Handbag is about a woman who discovers through a handbag that her husband is having an affair. In Family Crisis, it takes a crisis for a father to finally appreciate his wife and daughter. In The Rose, a wife suddenly notices her husband leaving home with a rose from their garden tucked under his hat. Where is he going? These are just four of the stories in this collection but their little plots give you an idea of what Dorothy Whipple is like if you aren't familiar with her. I still have six more stories left to read so this book now has a permanent place on my bedside table.
I'm so glad I'm spreading these stories out because it's been so nice experiencing them this way. I highly recommend this book even if you haven't read Whipple or even if you're not a fan of short stories. This one will change your mind about the genre. If you're thinking of giving a Persephone book as a present for a friend or a relative, then I think this particular Persephone would be perfect.