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The Pomegranate Seed


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From The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton. Set last century in a wealthy US household. The happiness of a marriage is eroded over the years by the intermittent appearance of letters left for the husband. The writing on the envelope is in a woman's hand, strong but so pale as to be almost illegible. After each one he becomes withdrawn and this gradually eats away at his wife, yet she is unwilling to open the letters herself, and he is evasive about them. The themes include marital distance, male barriers, female rivalry. The title seems to refer to the myth of Persephone in which pomegranates are the fruit of the dead, and eating them condemns you to stay in the otherworld.