Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, June 10, 2024

"Home" - A short story by Carol Shields - 9 Pages, - Included in The Short Stories of Carol Shields- 2004

"Home" - A short story by Carol Shields - 9 Pages, - Included in The Short Stories of Carol Shields- 2004


This year, Buried in Print, a marvelous blog I have followed for over ten years,is doing a read through of the short stories of Carol Shields. I hope to participate fully in this event.

The more I read in the stories of Carol Shields the more grateful I am to Buried in Print for turning me on to her work. There are sixty some stories in the collection,it is my hope to read and post on them all in 2024.

'"Home" is the 19th short story by Carol Shields upon which I have so far posted. In just nine pages Shields develops near life histories of several people on a plane from Toronto to London.

"IT WAS SUMMER, THE MIDDLE OF JULY, the middle of the twentieth century, and in the city of Toronto one hundred people were boarding an airplane. “Right this way,” the lipsticked stewardess cried. “Can I get you a pillow? A blanket?” It was a fine evening, and they climbed aboard with a lightsome step, even those who were no longer young. The plane was on its way to London, England, and since this was before the era of jet aircraft, a transatlantic flight meant twelve hours in the air."

We soon learn why a married couple are making the long flight:

"Ed Dover, a man in his mid-fifties who worked for the post office, had cashed in his war bonds so that he and his wife, Barbara, could go back to England for a twenty-one-day visit. It was for Barbara’s sake they were going; the doctor had advised it. For two years she had suffered from depression, forever talking about England and the village near Braintree where she had grown up and where her parents still lived. At home in Toronto she sat all day in dark corners of the house, helplessly weeping; there was dust everywhere, and the little back garden where rhubarb and raspberries had thrived was overtaken by weeds."

There are others.

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