"On a June evening some years after the middle of the last century
" begins veteran Irish storyteller William Trevors fourteenth novel. Though this sentence initially sounds like the invitation to a fairy tale, Trevors trademark lack of sentimentality and dry wit soon kick in as he describes the disappointments of a dying woman: "As death approached, she had feared she would now be obliged to join her husband and prayed she would not have to. Her daughter she was glad to part from; her son
Mrs Connulty had wept to leave behind." Anyone drawn to the title and expecting a Nicholas Sparks/Bridges of Madison County
-style romance should approach with caution, but those who appreciate exquisitely paced narratives and keen emotional insights will relish this bracing examination of love and its limits.
Now 80, Trevor has spent a lifetime crafting...
Beyond the Book
An Irish Lexicography
When reading Love and Summer
, American readers will encounter many Irish words and phrases with which they may not be familiar. What follows is a list of some of these, highlighted within a sentence from the book, along with the accompanying definition. Definitions come from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
1. By the time the stairs had been hoovered, tea-towels hung up to dry and the daily girl sent home, it was evening.
Vaccuumed (used throughout the British Isles).
2. 'I'm sorry,' she said, turning to face him. 'Arrah, it doesn't matter' (18).
An expletive expressing emotion or excitement, common in Anglo-Irish speech.