Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes.  This book is a collection of short stories written by MPD in England during WWII and published in the New Yorker magazine from 1939 to 1945.  While the setting for the stories is quite dated, the characters are not.  In fact, you probably knows some of them (or their counterparts) today.  There’s Mrs. Ramsay who meets an old beau for lunch and determines that she made the better choice with Mr. Ramsay.  But then there is Mrs. Craven who wonders how she will know if her lover is killed or wounded in battle since notifications are sent to wives and families...and she is neither.  There’s Frances who shares her home with Margaret and is envious of Margaret’s baby, George.  Opposite her is Mrs. Craig who is almost unable to contain her joy when her guests leave.  The characters are so clearly drawn that you are bound to recognize several.  The stories are such delights that I found myself saving one each day until after dinner to read for dessert.

No comments: