03 August 2009

The Rose Garden by Maeve Brennan

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I just finished reading a collection of short stories called The Rose Garden by the Irish American Maeve Brennan. Normally I am not a big fan of short stories. As my friend Kelly says about short stories: If I like them I want them to be longer, if I don't like them I don't want to read them. Plus, I think short stories are often a little too abstract for my tastes. Little puffs of ideas that leave a lot of unanswered questions. Brennan's stories are no exception, but I liked them a lot. About five of the stories take place in Ireland, with the rest taking place in New York. Several of the latter are linked stories that take place in Herbert's Landing a fictional community north of the city on the Hudson River based on Brennan's real experiences in Snedens Landing. The stories, written in the 1950s and 1960s, are interesting little vignettes of times and places long gone.

And I must admit, I originally bought the book because I loved the cover photograph. Both Brennan and the apartment look fabulous. Subtract the cigarette and I would love to be transported into that picture for an evening.

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