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After Rain: Stories by William Trevor

After Rain: Stories (1997)

by William Trevor

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489532,429 (4.07)32



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This book consists of 12 short stories, most of which have depressing plots, but they are so memorable. Mr. Trevor is a master when it comes to writing about ordinary people, their relationships, and domesticity. In each story, he explores deep feelings, many of which we can all relate to. Eleven of the settings are in Ireland and England, the twelfth in Italy.

I've also read Mr. Trevor's novels Love and Summer (4 Stars), Death in Summer (4.5 Stars), Felicia's Journey (4.5 Stars), The Story of Lucy Gault (4.5 Stars), and The Silence in the Garden (2 Stars). I recommend all of those that I rated 4 and 4.5 Stars. ( )
1 vote pegmcdaniel | Jan 18, 2016 |
Brilliantly written, finely tuned stories with compelling characters by one of the master's of the genre. ( )
1 vote aseikonia | Sep 30, 2012 |
William Trevor delves deeply into the human heart. His characters range from the pure of heart to stone killers and those in between. In this collection two young criminals ponder their failure to kill a witness to a minor burglary; a mother is haunted by the darkest fears about her eccentric adult son; a strongly protestant family deals quite harshly with their teenage son who claims to have visions of a catholic saint and is compelled to preach about it; an unusual arrangement is made by a family after a daughter’s unplanned pregnancy; a childless wife is quietly devastated after accidentally discovering her husband has been having a long-term affair; and parents of an adult daughter are shattered upon the return of a frequently divorced ne’er-do-well that their daughter declared she would marry as a child.

Family pressure and intransigence weighs heavily in many of the twelve stories. All capture extremes of love and cruelty that are even more powerful in Trevor’s understated voice. ( )
1 vote Hagelstein | Jun 25, 2010 |
A collection of short stories by a master. ( )
  JPWyatt | Jan 21, 2007 |
Publishers Weekly

There are few contemporary writers who can match the quiet dignity with which Trevor embues his writing, or his command of the short story form. After last year's remarkable novel, Felicia's Journey, he returns here to more mundane lives. These 12 tales stay well within the bounds of conventional storytelling: there are no fractured narratives or disjointed memories delivered solely for effect. Instead, each of these stories pursues a classic but effective structure: a thinly held equilibrium is disturbed, leading first to a general collapse, then to an emotional plateau in which something vital has changed. In "A Friendship," Francesca, an unhappy housewife, begins an affair with an old acquaintance. The liaison does not lead to the expected dissolution of her marriage but, instead, to a loss of another part of her life. In "The Potato Dealer," an unplanned pregnancy forces a young woman into a marriage of convenience with a middle-aged potato trader. Though never loving, the union achieves a type of friendship; a friendship that is then irrevocably broken by the revelation of secrets. The domestic vein of most of these stories is epitomized by "The Piano Tuner's Wives," in which a second marriage's competition with the first is handled with lyricism and a haunting simplicity, and by "Marrying Damian," in which a couple must struggle to accept their daughter's love affair with their friend, a middle-aged roustabout. Politics, too, finds its way into current lives. In "Lost Ground," the collection's longest tale, the troubles in Northern Ireland provide the impetus for a young boy's tragic death. Each of these stories is rendered with Trevor's characteristic economy. The deft handling of information, as well as the exquisite sense of control, again show Trevor as a brilliant master of his craft. (Oct.)

Library Journal

In the title story of this collection, Trevor says, "It was after rain that the angel came: those first cool moments were a chosen time." Each of these 12 stories have a chosen time. First, characters are introduceda blind piano tuner and his manipulative second wife, a gay man and the parents he resents, two children scarred by divorceand the rain in their relationships revealed. Then there is a moment of understanding. As in Trevor's latest (Felicia's Journey, LJ 12/94)a best seller that enhanced his oeuvre of 22 books, many of them prize winnerstension and the revelations that come with it are skillfully brought to the reader's attention. Some of these stories have been previously published in magazines, but all of them are well constructed and offer the reader insights into the nature of conflict and resolution. Essential for larger literary collections.Joshua Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. Sys., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The New Yorker

Trevor is probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.

The Boston Globe

One of the finest writers now at work in our language...No writer practicing the form today moves with nimbler assurance than Trevor across such an impressive gamut of social and emotional connections.
1 vote | antimuzak | Jun 5, 2006 |
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Violet married the piano tuner when he was a young man.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140258345, Paperback)

After Rain consists of 12 short stories of love and disillusion by one of the current masters of fiction, William Trevor. Among the stories are "The Piano Tuner's Wife," which tells of a woman who lies to her blind husband; "Marrying Damian," in which an elderly married couple overlook their past differences; and the title story, a tale of a woman's vacation in Italy and the revelations of her heart. Each carefully crafted story offers a glimpse into another world that somehow reminds us of our own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A dozen stories from an Irish writer. In Gilbert's Mother, a woman discovers her son rapes and kills, but decides not to denounce him because it's partly her fault, she brought him into this world, while The Potato Dealer is on a man's reaction to his wife's confession that a baby is not his.

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