The Haunted Boy and Other Stories

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Title: The Haunted Boy and Other Stories

Writer: Carson McCullers

Publishing House: Penguin Modern Classics

Date of Publication: February 22nd 2018

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Sometimes she would be out fooling with the border of spring flowers – the candytuft, the sweet William, the lobelias (she had taught him the names) – but today the green front lawn with the borders of many-colored flowers was empty under the frail sunshine of the mid-April afternoon.’’

Carson McCullers’s stories are rich in family scenes. But it is a disturbing version of familial bonds. Hovering between the quiet of the rural environment and the buzzing of the city, we witness the bond between spouses, between children and [parents being under threat because of the fragility and recklessness of human nature, because of our usual inability to listen and understand.

These stories are built on the fear of loss and dread when our family peace is threatened, when imminent catastrophe breaks our world. From Georgia to New York, from autumn to summer, these are stores of past loves and present uncertainty, marriage and relationships falling apart, and the urgent need to discover the necessary strength when tragedy strikes.

The Haunted Boy: I was deeply moved by this story. It reminded me of mum’s hysterectomy when I was 12 and all the fear and agony over the results and the future of my family. The boy of our story is trying to cope with a life that is about to collapse around him. His bravery is outstanding. A moving account of terror, love and hope.

The Sojourner: John Ferris is a man who cannot settle down. New York, Paris, Rome. It seems as if he is deliberately trying to escape life. An accidental reunion with his ex-wife prompts him to think of his choices and the mistakes of the past. A tender, melancholic story.

A Domestic Dilemma: A marriage is collapsing because of estrangement and alcoholism, and the children are always the unaware victims…

‘’The twilight border between sleep and waking was a Roman one this morning: splashing fountains and arched, narrow streets, the golden lavish city of blossoms and age-soft stone. Sometimes in the semi-consciousness, he sojourned again in Paris, or war German rubble, or Swiss ski-ing and a snow hotel. Sometimes, also, in a fallow Georgia field at hunting dawn. Rome it was this morning in the yearless region of dreams’’

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