28 June 2009

IPA: A Day in the Country

"A Day in the Country" is the last story of the second section, all of which are stories with little to no fantastic element (outside of the stylistic approach) told from the point of views of women. The emphasis here is on epiphanies.

This story concerns an academic in her mid-thirties staying at a lodge. (I was reminded of the lodge in Yosemite National Park, though I don't think the exact location is ever named.) She reads, works and wanders around, running into different people. There is one woman in particular she feels a need to avoid. This woman, who is approximately a decade younger, has a look on her face that suggests she is looking someone to talk to, to unload her problems onto. One unexpected encounter between the two proves eye-opening, as the protagonist is forced to confront some truths that she has been keeping from herself.

While these stories have all been good, and I certainly like Millhauser's style, I have to admit I'm looking forward to see if the final section returns to some of the more interesting aspects of the first story.

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