Review by Booklist Review
Trevor's new novel begins in the early 1920s in his native Ireland, which, at the time, was in the throes of civil war, with the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy under siege. One night, arsonists attempt to burn down the country home of Colonel Gault, a retired Irish officer in the British army who is married to an Englishwoman. Despite the fact that it breaks their hearts to do so, the Gaults decide to leave Ireland. The day before their planned departure, their little child, Lucy, runs away from home to show her parents her intense aversion to the relocation; however, the colonel and his wife believe their daughter has drowned herself in the ocean. They leave Ireland anyway, to find a venue in which they hope their guilt can be assuaged. They are immediately and forever incommunicado; they can't be informed that their little girl has been found and is being taken care of by the domestic couple left behind as caretakers of the property. Decades pass. Lucy grows into young womanhood and passes into middle age, still out of contact with her parents. Finally, Colonel Gault returns home, and Lucy learns her mother died during their exile in Switzerland. In her old age, Lucy tends to the now mentally incapacitated man who, as a young hoodlum, attempted to torch the Gault home so many years ago. This beautiful, haunting story of love and redemption rings with the resonance of a legend. --Brad Hooper YA/L: The story of the runaway child and family heartbreak will hook advanced readers. HR.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Trevor (Death in Summer) is one of the finest prose stylists writing today; his delicately shaded novels and stories often have a Chekhovian sense of loss and longing. This novel, with its elegiac tale of a quiet, sad life lived in the shadow of a wrecked childhood, could well have been penned by the Russian master. Lucy is nine years old when her father, a wealthy Irish army captain married to an Englishwoman, shoots at and wounds one of a trio of locals trying to set his Irish country house, Lahardane, afire in the 1920s. Captain Gault and his wife, Heloise, decide they must leave for England and safety, but Lucy, who has known no other home but Lahardane, flees into the woods on the eve of their departure and cannot be found. Eventually convinced she has drowned at a nearby beach, her parents leave for a life of wandering and grieving exile in Europe, utterly out of touch with their old life. Lucy, however, is discovered, starved but alive, days later by two faithful retainers, who with the aid of a family lawyer keep the house open as Lucy grows into womanhood. The possibility of love enters her life, but her passionate attachment to the remote place repels her potential suitor and she lives on alone. Eventually, after the death of her mother, her father returns to live with her for a while. She even gets to know the wounded youth who once tried to burn down the house, now an elderly man in a mental institution. Lucy ends her days at Lahardane, out of touch with the modern world, but still in thrall to the past. Trevor's deeply poetic sense of the Irish character and countryside, his magical evocation of the passing of time, have never been more eloquent. This is a book to be quietly cherished. (Sept. 30) Forecast: Admirers of the author will need no urging to seek this out, and widespread and positive review attention should help win new ones. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
In his latest novel, Trevor continues to build upon his reputation as Ireland's answer to Chekhov. He addresses the profoundest of questions-why do we exist?-and supplies a small piece of the answer. Lucy Gault grows up a Protestant in a Catholic part of Ireland in the 1920s. An only child, she enjoys an intimate relationship with her parents and is wedded to her family's lavish country home, the nearby beach and woods, and the house staff. When Lucy's parents decide to flee the persecution of arsonists and move to England, her life takes an unforeseen turn. Tragedy and heartbreak will haunt the Gault family, and their lives do not proceed as expected. As in his earlier works, such as Felicia's Journey and Miss Gomez and the Brethren, Trevor's smooth, spare prose captures the quirky workings of the heart, and compassion for the human condition mitigates the harsh blows that fate often deals his characters. Recommended for all fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/02.]-Diana McRae, Alameda Cty. Lib., San Lorenzo, CA (c) Copyright 2010. 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.