Above is a photo of my latest reading, 'The Garden Party and other stories' by Katherine Mansfield. This copy is from the library at college and hasn't been taken out since 1995. However, while browsing through the blogs that I follow, I was intrigued by this book. It is, as the title suggests, a collection of short stories and was first published in 1922. Having read the first five stories, I can say that they are very well written, with excellent characterisations but are somewhat unsatisfactory as I have been left wondering "what happened next?" with each one. There is a great attention to detail and description and some of the vernacular language the author uses really conjures up an image of the speaker. Below is my favourite example of this so far from The Daughters of the Late Colonel:
"When I was with Lady Tukes," said Nurse Andrews, "she had such a dainty little contrayvance for the buttah. It was a silvah Cupid balanced on the - bordah of a glass dish, holding a tayny fork. And when you wanted some buttah you simply pressed his foot and he bent down and speared you a piece. It was quite a gayme."
Josephine could hardly bear that. But "I think those things are very extravagant" was all she said.
"But whey?" asked Nurse Andrews, beaming through her eyeglasses. "No one, surely, would take more buttah than one wanted - would one?"
The stories are a little dated, but they do give a real feeling of the time they were written and I am enjoying becoming acquainted with each of the characters.
Photo of Katherine Mansfield from http://www.katherinemansfield.net/life/briefbio1.html