Tessa Hadley’s “Experience” is an entertainment, and I enjoyed it. Recently divorced Laura takes “friend of a friend” Hanna up on her offer to house-sit. Laura tells herself “that this house was a good place for me, temporarily: this nowhere where I was nobody.” As in a fairy tale, she seems to be temporarily asleep.
Hana is perhaps in her forties, very bold in her manner, beauty and wealth, and Laura enjoys looking into every corner of the three story town house, and as in a fairy tale, she comes upon not only a locked attic door but also upon the long iron key that unlocks it. When she finds a diary and reads the adventures within, she thinks, “I’ve never lived.”
via Tessa Hadley: “Experience” « The Mookse and the Gripes. I agree with the Mookse contributors… tending towards Betsey myself on this one. Hadley’s still not perfect… maybe because she just doesn’t want to go the whole distance and make the short story into the jewel it is supposed to be (and is, with people like Trevor, Gallant, Atwood…). But a very good story.