A Day by William Trevor, 1993
The magic trick:
Creating an entire story as aftermath
Stories are supposed to feature certain crucial elements, right? Rising action, falling action, all that fun stuff. Well, this story doesn’t really feature any of that. The two defining moments of our protagonist’s life occurred several years before the story begins. So, really, the entire narrative we get on this day in question is nothing but aftermath. A very interesting way to demonstrate cause-and-effect and the way it can slowly break someone’s life. And that’s quite a trick on Trevor’s part.
Mrs. Lethwes said nothing in the Hotel Saint George and she hasn’t since. He doesn’t know she knows. She hopes nothing shows. She sat for an hour on the terrace working it out.
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I read this a few years ago in Trevor’s “After Rain” collection. It wasn’t one of my favorites, and what I most remember was that it was quite the sad story. I consider Trevor, in general, though to be a genius. There were several other stories in that book that are among my all time favorites.
all-time favorites? wow.. what are some of the titles you recommend? I feel like I haven’t read anything by him that really grabbed me, so maybe I need some direction..