The Crown and Other Stories
ISBN: 8129101815

These shorts would be excellent discussion topics for bookclubs. And among older children and teens, even adults. Different age segments would be able to talk about the stories from different viewpoints.

The writings are concise, though I suspect the translated works convey an old-style English quality that may seem more to “tell” than to “show” the reader, but still flavourful enough.

“The Crown” is about three princes, who are brothers. We learn how the youngest sows the seeds of discord, playing on the second brother’s need for affirmation to the first; and the eldest being seemingly too straight-forward for his own good.

“Giving and Owing” tells a tale that made me wonder if it is still happening today: a man marries off his daughter at an enormous amount of dowry he could not afford. He resorts to borrowing the money but still falls short. His snobbish in-laws ill-treat the daughter because of the inadequate dowry payments. The man is saddled with debts, his entire extended family suffers. Eventually his daughter passes on from neglect by her in-laws. Ironically they spend lavish amounts of money on her funeral and even incurs significant debt to do so.

P48. “The world is a scientific laboratory for the workings of Destiny”