The Booker Prize Reading Group chose this one for the month of May – I read it back in 2004 and lost it in my house somewhere – either that or gave it to the cleaning lady (a reader). So I got the Audible version but I’m spoiled when it comes to good books and I really wanted the Kindle version to go with it. Okay – caved.
I don’t really remember the story but I’m reminded as I read along. In the summer of 1921, an Englishman shoots a gun and accidentally hits a trespassing boy whose parents resent the English presence in Ireland . There is trouble. The family really has to move after a fire is attempted – to protect their young daughter, Lucy, if nothing else. But they don’t want to go, Lucy especially. And on the day of moving she wanders off with her own plans and can’t be found. Her parents are beside themselves, but after a few weeks, and the statements of fishermen, they leave, grief stricken.
The Story of Lucy Gault
by William Trevor
2002 / 240 pages
read by Kathryn Borowitz – 8h 38m
rating 9 / contemp fiction (Ireland)
(read and listened)
The remaining narrative is divided into Parts and Chapters and covers a number of years as the parents and Lucy go about their lives of grief in alternating chapters.
But what’s it really about? It’s about deep guilt and grief and love and abandonment over the span of decades, forgiveness and waiting maybe.
Very good book – slow and haunting with an odd character at its center. The writing is clear and concise, not a lot of wasted words and the dialogue is spot on.