What would you think if someone leaves his house and wife one day, rents a flat in a street nearby, and comes back 20 years later, as if nothing had happened? This is what the author read some day in a newspaper and then he tried to imagine in this short story what that man, Wakefield, did at that time: if he could meet his wife in the street by chance, if he changed his appearance not to be discovered, and why did he come back after all those years, not after nor before.
The author doesn’t give us a reason why Wakefield did that actually, and more important, he doesn’t say what his wife thought about the disappearance and the following reunion, he just guesses a little about the story and it is the reader the one who has to guess the rest.
I got the book from the Spanish publisher and the edition is beautiful: it is an illustrated and bilingual edition, with lovely pictures of Wakefield and his wife included within the Spanish translation, and the original version at the end of the book. They make these kind of editions with short stories and poetry books of classical authors (Emily Dickinson, Jonathan Swift, etc.), and I have some of them to read – in both languages, of course.
My review in Spanish here.
I want to read Hawthorne, I’m going to start with this one thanks to your review 🙂
This is a curious short story, hope you like it!! 😉
Those illustrations are gorgeous! I’ve never read this but it sounds like something I’d really enjoy 🙂
Allison @ The Book Wheel said:
How have I never read this?! It sounds so good! I have one of his other books (House of Seven Gables) on my Classics Club list. I figure if I visited the house every summer for years, I should read the book about it!
Jennifer: indeed, I loved the illustrations too! The story is very short, in half an hour you could have Wakefield finished 😉
Allison: Have you visited that house several times, really? Wow! So yes, you must read it. I have seen The scarlet letter in your list; this is a book I also want to read (someday).
Thanks for commenting!!
Beautifull illustrations, indeed.
I usually like these kind of stories. Absurd decisiones. Illustrations look also really interesting.
Those illustrations are beautiful x
Loque: There are a lot and all of them are gorgeous!
Mariuca: the book is short but interesting!
Melinda: yes, they are! and there are a lot of them in every page, I love illustrated editions!!
RebeccaScaglione - Love at First Book said:
This sounds really interesting! I’ll add it to my already-too-long list! 🙂
hehe, hope you like it!!