William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration. These twelve stories include:
The waiter who divulges his shocking life of crime to his ex-wife.
A woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy.
The schoolgirl who regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her.
A middle-aged couple meet in a theatre bar for a squalid blind date.
The disappointed priest who fears an innocent young girl may run away from home.
Two self-certain sisters visit a newly widowed local woman.
And, in the volume's title story, a middle-age accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair.
From these slender moments Trevor creates whole lives, conjuring up characters marked by bitterness and loss. William Trevor's graceful prose is a wonder in itself, and as convincing when inhabiting the mind of a school lunchmaid, an adulterous Irish country librarian or a murderer on the London streets. And as is always the case with William Trevor, venom and tragedy are never far from the still surface of the stories.
At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.