• Madison White

A Story a Day #56: Jean Stafford

April 15th, 2020

"A Country Love Story"

Jean Stafford

A couple buys a house in the country in order to help the husband heal from his sickness. The pair have never lived in the country before. In the yard of their house sits an old sleigh that they say they will get rid of. Instead, they watch it sit through the seasons. After time, the wife becomes very bored and the husband becomes very short with her and asks her to leave him alone all the time. The two grow apart and the husband accuses her of keeping something from him although she is unsure what he means. In her mind, she begins to dream of a lover who accompanies her and treats her well. One night, she dreams of them together and he says he loves her, but when she wakes she find that it is her husband saying that. Her dreams of her lover are gone now and she wonders how she will live the rest of her life.

I enjoyed this story for many reasons but chiefly because it includes many rural descriptions and detaials, which I adore, and also features the inner thoughts of a woman protagonist. I found this story reminded me a lot of "The Yellow Wallpaper" which is another story about a woman who is confined to a space because of her husband. In both stories, I was unsure of what to believe and not to believe as it is being told. It is altogether possible that things are and aren't happening because of the isolated state of the narrator. I think both stories portray this beautifully and subtley.

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