William Trevor's astonishing range as a writer--his humor, subtlety, and compassionate grasp of human behavior--is fully demonstrated in these two short novels. In Reading Turgenev, a lonely country girl escapes her loveless marriage in the arms of a bookish young man. In My House in Umbria, a former madam befriends the other survivors of a ...
William Trevor's astonishing range as a writer--his humor, subtlety, and compassionate grasp of human behavior--is fully demonstrated in these two short novels. In Reading Turgenev, a lonely country girl escapes her loveless marriage in the arms of a bookish young man. In My House in Umbria, a former madam befriends the other survivors of a terrorist bombing with surprising results. Nominated for the Booker Award.
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These two novellas are shaped by this brilliant writer so that the reader is immersed in what is being said, not on how it is being said. I.e. one does not edit Trevor: his words are perfectly fitted to the picture he's projecting, his voice is gentle & elegantly persuasive so that you absolutely do know what he's saying - even when his idea is a totally new one to the reader (which can be quite often in Trevor.) I am always glad I'm reading Trevor. I'm always sorry the story ends but I am delighted with the train of thoughts it has left me with.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-06-29 Trevor juxtaposes an exquisite pair of mirroring narratives: an unhappily married woman's half-imaginary romance, and a romance author's experience of terrorism. (Aug.)
Publishers Weekly, 1991-06-21 One of our modern masters, Trevor ( Fools of Fortune ; Family Sins ) is in top form with this exquisite pair of mirroring narratives. The first novella, ``Reading Turgenev,'' is the story of a woman who, denied love in her marriage, turns to a half-imaginary romance with a cousin who reads Turgenev to her in a cemetery; later, she desolately retreats into the shadowy world of her memories and desires. ``My House in Umbria'' is a first-person narrative about an aging writer of romances with a mysterious past whose fiction exhibits resolution and a kind of tranquility. A passenger on a train attacked by terrorists, the writer takes in a group of fellow survivors of the blast. Their healing becomes cathartic for her, bringing elements of her past to the surface. The two lives thus limned provide a balanced pair of portraits, one of a woman who avoids reality and the other of one who confronts it. Told in Trevor's graceful, evocative language, these narratives are further evidence of the author's sublime grasp of the complexities of human relationships. (Sept.)
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