11 November, 2011
I like that the girl wears (pale) green which is a complementary color to rose (red). I also like the way Berriault writes the paragraph where Mary sees herself in the past as though it is someone else, "as if I were observing another girl from a corner of the room."
The story is barely four pages long and only takes place during the party but it portrays the spark that this young girl will always remember. Her mother and her family's life before and after she knew of her father's infidelity. A second level of Mary's maturation is seen in this revelation, "With my discovery of my father and the woman, I hadn't thought about her," meaning her mother. She also instantly realized that her parent's issues were not hers and that the adults' complications were not hers, knowledge not hers to do anything with but nevertheless Mary would never "see" adults in the same fashion.
FAVORITE LINE: "Whenever I glanced up I met a glance, and nobody spoke jokingly to me the way they do to a child, and when men came up to me they treated me with a kind of knowingness, as if I were already steeped in the experiences I had only imagined."
Wikipedia page about Berriault
Rea Award page about her
a 1997 New York Times article
Google Books site, the entire story collection, Women in Their Beds is posted here
The story is also available at Narrative Magazine online