Deal Me In 2021 – Week 28
Love was an awful mess of a thing, she thought. In few cases did it stand up as wonderfully as with Jim and herself.
Viola in Carl Ruthven Offord’s “So Peaceful in the Country” takes a job in the country away from her husband Jim. We get a picture of a good marriage through snippets of thoughts and memories while she works for a white couple in which the wife has left her husband unbeknownst to Viola.
While we anticipate something horrible happening to Viola while she keeps house for a hard drinking husband separated from his wife, the worst doesn’t happen but the husband’s attempt to teach Viola to swim frightens her into leaving. The minor (and innocent) swimming lesson only serves to emphasize the strength of Viola’s marriage. There is nothing she wants more than to be with Jim.
This story is included in Black American Short Stories: A Century of the Best edited by John Henrik Clarke. I read it when I selected the Seven of Clubs for Week 28 of my Deal Me In 2021 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.