Earlier this year, I review two stories by Katherine Mansfield, The Fly and The Doll’s House. I gave both much praise and a high recommendation. Then I came across Bliss and saved it to review in the future. I wondered if Mansfield would become a favorite classic author of mine or if Bliss would disappoint.
The answer, Mansfield has become a favorite.
At thirty years old, Bertha Young was so happy with her life, blissfully happy. She was walking home thinking to herself that she would like to show how bliss she was but the conventions of polite society forbid that, especially from a woman.
She had a lot to be blissful about, she had a husband she adored, a small daughter, a beautiful home, and an exquisite garden. She especially loves the pear tree.
When she arrived home she arranged the fruit that was to be at the party she was hosting that evening. She then went to the nursary to see her daughter. The nanny was in the middle of feeding the girl but Bertha asked to take over. The nanny was happy about it but relented and went to tend a couple of things.
Bertha thought to herself, ” How absurd it was. Why have a baby if it has to be kept – not in a case like a rare, rare fiddle – but in another woman’s arms?”
The dinner party that evening went well and after dinner she shares a moment with her new friend, Miss Fulton. The both stare at the garden and the pear tree. However, Bertha’s husband made it fairly clear in his actions that he didn’t care for her new friend much. She planned to speak to him about it later. However, as the guest were leaving Bertha heard something between her husband and two guests. The story ended there but I imagine that it made Bertha question if she would be as blissful in the future.
Mansfield’s writing is exquisite. She unfolds her stories like pulling pedals from a flower, one at a time until she reveals what is really happening. This is another highly recomended Katherine Mansfield story!
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