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William Trevor is beloved around the world as one of the finest writers today—and with just cause: his new novel is a masterpiece of love and loss, and lives suspended in time.
Lucy Gault is nine when her parents are faced with the agonizing decision to flee Ireland to be safe from the violence that privilege and Lucy’s English mother have brought upon them—or to stay in their home and risk losing it to the threat of arson.
Lucy cannot bear the thought of leaving Lahardane’s beautiful pastureland, the seashore below pale clay cliffs, and the nameless dog that has become her companion. So she runs away into the nearby woods to convince her parents to stay. Instead, her actions begin the unravelling of her family when they find two bits of her clothing and conclude she has thrown herself into the…[more]
Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance unravel both his and Felicia’s delusions in a story that will magnetize fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Ruth Rendell, even as it resonates with William Trevor’s own “impeccable strength and piercing profundity” (The Washington Post Book World).
Willy Quinton lived a pleasant, cosseted life in County Cork, untouched by the troubles…until the soldiers came and took a terrible revenge.
Marianne Woodcombe, his cousin, lived in Dorset, unaware that she was part of a cycle of hatred…
Spanning sixty years, William Trevor’s tender and beautiful love story has at its centre a dark and violent act which spills over into the mutilated lives of generations to come.
In spare, exquisite prose, master storyteller William Trevor presents a haunting love story about the choices of the heart, and the passions and frustrations of three lives during one long summer. Ellie is a shy orphan girl from the hill country, married to a man whose life has been blighted by an unspeakable tragedy. She lives a quiet life in the Irish village of Rathmoye, until she meets Florian Kilderry, a young photographer preparing to leave Ireland and his past forever. The chance intersection of these two lost souls sets in motion a poignant love affair that requires Ellie to make an impossible choice.
There were three deaths that summer. The first was Letitia’s, sudden and quite unexpected, leaving her husband Thaddeus haunted by the details of her last afternoon, a drizzling Thursday in June. They had spent it arguing in their comfortable house in the country until Thaddeus reluctantly promised to visit a woman from his past—a promise he had no intention of keeping. The next death came some weeks later, after Thaddeus’s mother-in-law had helped him to interview the young woman who had answered their advertisement for a nanny to look after Letitia’s baby. None was suitable—least of all the last one, with her small, sharp features, her shabby clothes that reeked of cigarettes, her badly typed references—so Letitia’s mother moved in herself. But then, just as the household was beginning to settle down, the last of the nannies suprisingly returned, her unwelcome arrival heralding the third of the summer tragedies.
William Trevor’s new novel is a sypathetic portrait of the sadness and damage that lies at the heart of some lives—both those that are obviously afflicted and those that appear to be blessed.
From his debut collection, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, published in 1968, to Family Sins (1990), William Trevor has crafted the short story to perfection, giving us brilliant and subtle stories full of the reversals, surprises, and shadowy truths we discover in life itself. To read this volume is not just to encounter an extraordinary literary stylist, but to understand life as surely as though we were looking through the eyes of his protagonists and—deeper still—into their hearts.
William Trevor: The Collected Stories includes the tales from his seven previous books, as well as four stories that have never appeared in book form in America. They depict the comforts and frustrations of life in rural Ireland, the complexities of family relationships, and the elusive grace of love. They portray the almost invisible strands that bind people to each other as well as the chains that imprison them in solitary yearning.
Mary Louise Dallon, fearful of being trapped forever in her parents’ cramped farmhouse, is too naive to resist the limited attractions of the nearby small town in the provincial Ireland of 1955. A hasty marriage leads to despair and desolation.
William Trevor’s astonishing range as a writer—his humor, subtlety, and compassionate grasp of human behavior—is fully demonstrated in these two short novels. In Reading Turgenev, a lonely country girl escapes her loveless marriage in the arms of a bookish young man. In My House in Umbria, a former madam befriends the other survivors of a terrorist bombing with surprising results.