Book summary: The Garden Party: and Other Stories


In deceptively simple language, Katherine Mansfield illuminates complicated relationships and profound, often troubling, ideas. Couples who marry for ambiguous reasons, lovers who persistently misunderstand one another, women who cling to unrealized dreams and unrecognized prejudices -- Mansfield captures the telling moments of her character's lives in precise, luminous detail. The fifteen stories in this collection range from "At the Bay", an impressionistic evocation of family life set in her native New Zealand, to "Miss Brill", the story of a lonely woman devastated by the mockery of pair of young lovers. The title story, an ironic vignette about a society woman briefly touched by the real world at the funeral of her working-class neighbor, is an experiment with voices, viewpoints, and allusions that continues to surprise and delight readers even today.

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