Shirley Hazzard’s stories are sharp, sensitive portrayals of moments of crisis. Whether they are set in the Italian countryside or suburban Connecticut, the stories deal with real people and real problems. In the title piece, a young widow is surprised and ashamed by her lack of grief for her husband. In ‘A Place in the Country,’ a woman has a passionate, guilty affair with her cousin’s husband. In ‘Harold,’ a gawky, lonely young man finds acceptance and respect through his poetry.
Moving and evocative, these ten stories are written with subtlety, humour and a keen understanding of the relationships between men and women.