The Salzburg Tales by Christina Stead, Australian, warm lady and real story-teller, is an interesting book for whoever in love for short stories.
If you have read or studied The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer or the Decameron by Boccaccio, you must read The Salzburg Tales.
In the case of Boccaccio and his Decameron because of a plague ten people in the 1300s for ten days will stay distant from Florence. They were seven girls and three men and they will share in total 100 tales during that days.
Chaucer later was inspired by the Decameron when he wrote The Canterbury Tales.
In this case we are in Salzburg, Austria there is the August Festival and in a Capuchin convent, diversified people are reunited together telling to the other ones their own stories, because after all what it is life if not a lot of stories shared with friends or unknown people?
Characters? There is the Festival Director, the English Gentleman, the Philosopher, the Lawyer, a Musician, The Naturalist, The Danish Woman, the Italian Singer and many more.
Tales are Gothics. I found impressive and very sad the tale of the Italian Singer and the story of the coffin and the couple who decided to live for the moment of their death although very young, but also the story of Swend; another one a legend saying that no one should see himself/herself in a mirror at midnight during Midsummer because it would see his/her ghost dying abruptly.
They're all stories that will leave you a profound sense of life and death.
Anna Maria Polidori