There must be a whole literature about the preparation and presentation of drinks in American literature. It somehow reminds me of the delightful work of Mollie Panter-Downes whose non-fiction is great as well.
The Irish writer and journalist Maeve Brennan has been enjoying something of a mini-renaissance in recent years with the republication of her brilliant collection of Dublin stories, The Springs of Affection, by Peninsula Press in February and a Backlisted Podcast discussion on the book last November. Many of Brennan’s short stories first appeared in The New Yorker magazine, where she worked as a columnist and reviewer, only to be collected posthumously following her death in 1993. The Rose Garden is the second of these volumes, another excellent collection of pieces originally published in the 1950s and ‘60s.
The Rose Garden comprises twenty stories, divided into four sections, the first (and longest) of which I’ll cover in this review. These seven pieces are all set in Herbert’s Retreat, a private, exclusive community of desirable houses situated on the east bank of the Hudson River, thirty miles from the heart of…
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