I The Garden Party and Other Stories ryms så många som femton noveller, av vilka sex är exceptionellt bra. Många är ganska korta, men det är de längre som ger novellsamlingen dess tyngd av kvalitativt skrivande. Vi möter alltifrån rika familjer som ordnar fester till gamla utslitna tjänstefolk som letar efter tid och plats att få gråta på. Människor ur alla samhällsskikt och alla åldrar. Språkbehandlingen är superb, sluten har ofta en liten twist och ja, det är helt enkelt riktigt suverän novellistik vi talar om! Nu siktar jag på att läsa de tre återstående novellsamlingarna innan 2011 är slut - men helst innan sommaren för jag vill ha mer, mer av språket, stämningarna, allt! Jag har en väldig vurm för klassiker men det är sällan jag blir så här rikt belönad.
Jag vill visa er vad jag menar med det här utdraget ut novellen "The Daughters of the Late Colonel":
Well, at any rate, all that part of it was over, though neither of them could possibly believe that father was never coming back. Josephine had had a moment of absolute terror at the cemetery, while the coffin was lowered, to think that she and Constantia had done this thing without asking his permission. What would father say when he found out? For he was bound to find out sooner or later. He always did. “Buried. You two girls had me buried!” She heard his stick thumping. Oh, what would they say? What possible excuse could they make? It sounded such an appallingly heartless thing to do. Such a wicked advantage to take of a person because he happened to be helpless at the moment. The other people seemed to treat it all as a matter of course. They were strangers; they couldn’t be expected to understand that father was the very last person for such a thing to happen to. No, the entire blame for it all would fall on her and Constantia. And the expense, she thought, stepping into the tight-buttoned cab. When she had to show him the bills. What would he say then?
She heard him absolutely roaring. “And do you expect me to pay for this gimcrack excursion of yours?”
“Oh,” groaned poor Josephine aloud, “we shouldn’t have done it, Con!”
And Constantia, pale as a lemon in all that blackness, said in a frightened whisper, “Done what, Jug?”
“Let them bu-bury father like that,” said Josephine, breaking down and crying into her new, queer-smelling mourning handkerchief.
“But what else could we have done?” asked Constantia wonderingly. “We couldn’t have kept him, Jug — we couldn’t have kept him unburied. At any rate, not in a flat that size.”
Josephine blew her nose; the cab was dreadfully stuffy.
“I don’t know,” she said forlornly. “It is all so dreadful. I feel we ought to have tried to, just for a time at least. To make perfectly sure. One thing’s certain”— and her tears sprang out again —“father will never forgive us for this — never!”