synopsis// A dream house that is hiding something sinister; two women having lunch who share a husband; an old woman doing her weekly supermarket shop with a secret past that no one could guess; a couple who don’t know each other at all even after fifteen years together; and, in the story from which this collection takes its name, a bird and a servant girl in ancient Pompeii who cannot converse, but share a perfect understanding. In this new and varied collection of short stories, Penelope Lively shows that she remains a master of her craft, and one of our finest English writers.


review// I had requested two collections of short stories from Netgalley. One being The Accomplished Guest that I had previously reviewed on the blog. And the second being Purple Swamp Hen And Other Stories. They both seemed very intriguing and written by two amazing authors. One I ended up not enjoying and one I actually liked! And we’re here to review the latter!

This collection of short stories has a predominant theme: relationships. We don’t just get boring stories about relationships where we end up thinking after a while: Why do we care? It is much more interesting and enthralling than this.

I might have found some stories a bit “boring” but most of them were beautiful. The ones I found not as exciting were the ones with the ghost elements. The others were just fine! The Purple Swamp Hen was probably my favorite of them all! Maybe because I wasn’t expecting that content when reading the title of the short story.

It’s very smart and I really enjoyed the writing. I am personally not acquainted with Penelope Lively’s work but now I am really looking forward to picking up another book by her. I’d recommend this book even for people who are just starting out in the world of short stories and do not know where to begin.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s