Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Story of Lucy Gault

Title: The Story of Lucy Gault

Author: William Trevor

Number of pages: 228

Started: 14 June 2010

Finished: 16 June 2010

Opening words:

Captain Everard Gault wounded the boy in the right shoulder on the night of June the twenty-first, nineteen twenty-one. Aiming above the trespassers' heads in the darkness, he fired the single shot from an upstairs window and then watched the three figures scuttling off, the wounded one assisted by his companions.

Plot summary:
Summer, 1921. Eight-year-old Lucy Gault clings to the glens and woods above Lahardane - the home her family is being forced to abandon. She knows the Gaults, as Protestants, are no longer welcome in Ireland and that danger threatens. She is headstrong and decides that somehow she must force her parents into staying. But the path she chooses ends in disaster.
One chance event, unwanted and unexpected, will blight the lives of the Gaults for years to come and bind each of them in different ways to this one moment in time forever. Trevor's novel, shortlisted for both the Booker and Whitbread Prizes, beautifully evokes rural Ireland and the tensions existing there, but also delicately portrays the terrible impact of mere chance on our lives.

See an interesting book group discussion on the book here.

What I thought:

I am not really sure about this book. It was well written and the words flowed off the page. It was a book that also had an underlying sadness to it and (without revealing the major part of the plot) you really wanted the situation to get resolved because things could have been so different if it wasn’t for a few actions that came together.

I thought the characters, particularly Lucy Gault, perhaps lacked a bit of depth and that the book would have been enhanced by a bit more reflection on how she felt about and dealt with things. But it was a readable book and I would be interested in reading another of William Trevor’s books.

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