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Death in Summer by William Trevor

Death in Summer (original 1998; edition 1999)

by William Trevor

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3801528,382 (3.71)22
Title:Death in Summer
Authors:William Trevor
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (1999), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks, General Fiction
Tags:Fiction, Irish, 20th century

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Death in Summer by William Trevor (1998)



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» See also 22 mentions

English (14)  Dutch (1)  All (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
so sad — about not loving — cold man — mentally ill in orphan's home — too much for me — maybe those long years Ed + Frank — they were them!

Death in Summer revolves around Thaddeus Davenant, whose young wife, Letitia Iveson, was killed in a freak accident on a bicycle. Letitia leaves behind their six-month-old baby girl Georgina; her mother, Mrs Iveson, advises Thaddeus to employ a child minder. One of those interviewed is Pettie, a girl who was brought up in a foster home abused by a sinister "Sunday uncle". She grows increasingly obsessed with Thaddeus and his baby after seeing them just once.
  christinejoseph | Jun 29, 2016 |
Good read but not an easy read. Changing perspectives quickly without warning but rewarding. Very well written. ( )
  charlie68 | Aug 29, 2014 |
*** Spoiler alert ***

It was darker than his other work as the title would suggest. It is set in the home counties and tells the story of Thaddeus who owns a house with his wife Letitia. There is a nice twist in the end. It feels a bit more compelling than Trevor's usual but is as readable as ever. It dwells on child abuse and growing up in an orphanage which affects two of the characters in different ways. ( )
  jerhogan | Jun 29, 2013 |
That Trevor will get you if you don't watch out. This was not my favorite of his. Once I saw what he was doing, I skipped to see how he did it. What a great writer though. Masterful. ( )
  ReneeGKC | Jan 7, 2013 |
I believe William Trevor is a brilliant writer who shows us the importance of the mundane. ( )
  wbwilburn5 | Jun 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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William Trevorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jane and in memory of Michael Streat
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After the funeral the hiatus that tragedy brought takes a different form.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140287825, Paperback)

A William Trevor novel offers the pleasures of a world so thoroughly imagined it makes real life seem murky and badly conceived. When, as in Death in Summer or in his previous novel, Felicia's Journey, his subtle vision meets the rigorous pacing of the thriller, the result chills to the bone. Like a mystery, Death in Summer begins with one premature demise and ends with another; in between, however, Trevor explores the darkest corners of the human heart with a subtlety and compassion rarely seen in works of suspense.

Handsome Thaddeus Davenant has just buried his young, wildly generous wife Letitia--a rescuer of stray dogs and a champion of street drunks. In contrast, Thaddeus is a kind of emotional cripple, scarred by a childhood spent lonely and unloved in his ancestral Quincunx House. He married Letitia for her money, as is immediately clear. Yet he would have loved her, if he had been able, and after their child is born he feels for the first time "possessed by an affection he had been unable to feel for anyone since his own infancy." When Letitia dies, victim of a freak accident, and none of the nannies interviewed prove suitable, her mother moves in to care for the baby. Mrs. Iveson has always considered Thaddeus "shoddy goods," and their détente only gradually thaws into something resembling warmth. Meanwhile, Pettie, one of the rejected nannies, has "taken a shine" to Thaddeus--with increasingly ominous results.

Pettie inhabits a world far removed from the genteel decay of Quincunx House. Reared in the nightmarish Morning Star home, where the only affection was the creepy kind dispensed by her "Sunday uncle," Pettie is poor, broken, and pathologically starved for love. Trevor chronicles her obsession with Thaddeus in a way that makes clear both Pettie's humanity and her capacity to do serious harm. Still, this is a hopeful book. Grim as Pettie's story may be, she causes stony-hearted Thaddeus to feel the first stirrings of human sympathy, "as the warmth of blood might miraculously seep into a shadow, or anesthesia be lifted by a jolt...." Throughout William Trevor's long and storied career, his subject has been nothing less than the problem of evil, and in Death in Summer, he makes a convincing case for its origins in the absence of love. --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After his wife dies Thaddeus Davenant, owner of a country estate in England, advertises for a nanny for their baby but finds no one suitable. One candidate, however, decides the palatial surroundings would suit her very well and she is ready to do anything to obtain the job. The result is drama.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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