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.