The Means of Escape is a delectable volume of stories from the illustrious Fitzgerald. If there is anything disappointing about this collection, it is the fact that it doesn’t include a lot of stories.
While it is hard to claim that all eight stories in this book are equally great, they all meet a certain standard of accuracy, deftness and grace that characterize the works of Fitzgerald.
The first story in the book is set in the 19th century in Australia. It is about a rector’s daughter who had a doomed chance at love when she fell for a fleeing convict.
The stories are set in different ages and in different parts of the world. They travel from France to England to Australia and from today to the 17th century.
In another story set in Istanbul near the beginning of the 20th century, the fierceness of poverty and social rank are rendered with equal dexterity. In ‘Desideratus’, a story set in rural England in 17th century, a boy from a humble background briefly attains nobility when he retrieves a lost medal, given him as a gift.
This collection serves as an invaluable gift to her dedicated fans and a fitting introduction for her new readers.
Fitzgerald can truly be called the Midas of story-telling and everything that she touches here turns into gold.