The language is sometimes poetic, but not cluttered. Mr Reeve might look “oddly starched, like a nurse coming on duty”. The sofa might be “the colour of Teddy-bear stuffing”.
But the stories are less about the relationships about the words on the page and more about the relationships between characters.
(Although sometimes these intersect, as with “They moved slowly along to the port, dragging this shapeless conversation between them…”: isn’t that a lovely one?)
Now, having deliberately and carefully read through this collection, I can’t explain why, I haven't read more of Mavis Gallant's stories (instead of one collection and some in anthologies). Her preoccupations as a writer are my preoccupations as a reader: it’s a perfect match.
More details about this collection in my response here, if you're interested.