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.