October 22, 2007

Short Story Monday: The Way of the Cross

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Short Story Monday


The Way of the Cross by Daphne DuMaurier is the last in her book of short stories Don't Look Now and Other Stories. I think I enjoyed this one the most. A group of Brits travels to Jerusalem on a tour organised by their Vicar. Before landing, the Vicar falls ill leaving an inexperienced parson, Rev. Edward Babcock, in charge. Babcock doesn't want to be in charge of this group of people he doesn't even like. They are tourists, not pilgrims, and all suffer the sin of pride, even the Reverend. Colonel Mason loves to tell stories of his glory days in the army. His wife, Lady Althea is vain and self-important. Jim Foster is a sexist businessman. His long suffering wife likes to make people feel guilty about the poverty in the world although she wears a fur coat. The Smiths are a newlywed couple with bedroom problems. Miss Dean is a spinster with a very different idea of Jerusalem than the bustling city of pilgrims and shopkeepers. Joining the Masons are their precocious nine year old grandson, Robin. He's the only one who's enjoying himself, taking in the sights and the history, while the rest think about themselves and their own disappointments. Unintentionally, they overhear things about themselves they never wanted to know. On a day trip, to the Way of the Cross each one experiences a humiliating event that humbles them and draws them closer as people.

This story is different than the others. There is no hint of the macabre. Everything that happens to the tourists is something that could happen to anyone of us. Each of these people, believing themselves to be above others in the human race end up having very human experiences. The pilgrims humble themselves in the Holy Land. The tourists become humble. The writing reminds me why I enjoy DuMaurier so much.

John from The Book Mine Set invited me to host this week's Short Story Monday. If you've reviewed a short story this week, please leave a link:



Note: Grr! Mr Linky is acting flaky. If he's not working leave a link in the comments. Thanks.

10 comments :

  1. I should be in bed, but I got this done tonight since I won't get a chance tomorrow until evening. Great hostess today, Mr Linky and everything. Have a great day

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  2. "The Way of the Cross" was my least favorite in that collection. I liked reading your review to get a different perspective.

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  3. I posted about some Gogol short stories here.

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  4. The only DuMaurier book I've read is of course Rebecca but I'd definitely like to read more by her. I did read two short stories but didn't get to review them on time for short story monday. Maybe next week! :)

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  5. Ooops, I accidentally put my email address in the Mr. Linky thing! Anyway, disregard.

    Thanks for hosting. My link is here: http://bookmineset.blogspot.com/2007/10/readers-diary-304-guy-de-maupassant.html

    I posted about an excellent horror story by Guy de Maupassant called "The Horla".

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  6. Sadly, I have never read anything by DuMaurier. I keep telling myself someday!

    That photo of her is really captivating. Something about those eyes...I wonder what she was thinking about?

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  7. Lately I've been finding that the stories and books that appeal to me the most involve group dynamics (Saramago's Blindness comes to mind. This one sounds like it'd be right up my alley.

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  8. here's one from the online mag The Brooklyn Rail:

    http://minusspine.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/road-trip/

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  9. First, I love your header!
    Secondly, I love that picture of Daphne du Maurier (I've always wanted a bob like that!)
    Thirdly, I've never read this work of hers, but Rebecca remains one of my all time favorite books. Thanks for this review!

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  10. John- You might like this one.

    Nyssaneala- She looks really soulful, doesn't she?

    Bellezza- Thanks!

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