Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* The situations behind Trevor's (Selected Stories, 2010) beautifully composed stories revolve around themes of personal cruelty, romantic and marital heartbreak, lover betrayal, and even violent death, and he has long established himself as a writer of great charity for the ordinary person and sympathy for the hard knocks of unheralded lives. In this last and posthumous collection Trevor died at age 88 in 2016 his tales have footing in his native Ireland and his adopted homeland of England, his usual settings. Trevor's characterizations step to the fore as the major aspect of his writerly genius. The Piano Teacher's Pupil introduces the collection as well as heralds the traits found in succeeding stories. A masterpiece of concision, it steps forward as a rewarding example of the sheer effectiveness of the short story form. Miss Elizabeth Nightingale is a piano teacher with a new student whom she immediately recognizes as a musical genius, but nearly simultaneous with this realization comes the awareness that her prized student has a penchant for thievery, leaving her to weigh the benefits of the beauty that the gifted brought. Trevor will long reign as a literary master.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This spare collection of 10 stories by the late Trevor (The Story of Lucy Gault) might be too bleak if its darkness weren't skillfully counterbalanced by sly hints of humor and understated compassion. The stories are sharp and concise, containing whole lives in the span of just a few pages. The book as a whole has an elegiac tone, with death figuring heavily in many of the stories. Often, it's death observed at a distance, as in "The Crippled Man," in which two foreign painters speculate about the disappearance of one of the owners of the house they are painting, or "The Unknown Girl," in which the former employer of a young woman killed crossing the street wonders whether she holds partial responsibility. Many of Trevor's stories contemplate two interacting characters who have little in common, like the prostitute who pursues a picture-restorer whose memory is failing in "Giotto's Angels," or the very different widow and widower in "Mrs Crasthorpe." The author keeps a distance from his characters, driven to incomprehensible actions by motives even they don't understand. Readers familiar with Trevor, who died in 2016, will find satisfying closure, and those new to his work will find reason to go back and explore his previous books. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Two workmen realize that the worn-out relative/housekeeper of the crippled man who hired them is hiding his boss's death (the better to keep receiving his pension). A man learns that the rumpled woman found dead in an alley was once the polished, desperately striving widow who tried to win him. A cartographer returns to the Yorkshire farm where he once tutored a lovely girl, now a grown woman with whom he falls in love. Throughout these final stories from the masterly Trevor (The Story of Lucy Gault), limpid and clearly defined as dewdrops on a branch, we see characters dealing with the past and moving forward-or not. Not surprisingly, there's an autumnal air throughout: the housekeeper "had once known what she wanted, but she wasn't so sure about that anymore," while the cartographer realizes that you can't escape what's done ("the damaged do not politely go away"), and a woman betrayed by a friend recalls a time when "friendship was the better thing." Yet this is hard-won wisdom, not sorrow. VERDICT Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 11/6/17.] © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.