BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Trevor's tragic tale
William Trevor
William Trevor was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1928

You cannot easily describe The Story of Lucy Gault without spoiling its plot and while the book's strength is in its characters, the story itself is a page-turning race.

This is the kind of novel you want to read twice because the first time you are galloping through to find out what happens next.

But this is no mere beach book, or just an action tale. It is a rich and overwhelming tragedy.

Lucy Gault does something when she is nine years old that destroys her life, the lives of her parents and more.

The Story of Lucy Gaunt
The book recalls Ian McEwan's Atonement

That is generally the extent of the story and, in truth, the plotting to get to this stage is a little obvious.

However, the meat of the novel is in the deadening impact on all the people involved.

Even this carefully guarded comment will ruin the plot a little, but somewhere towards the end, it is claimed that Lucy should have died when she was a child.

As horrible as it sounds, you cannot help but agree.

William Trevor zooms through the years from 1920s Ireland, when landowners were being driven out of the country, up to the edge of the present day with references to the internet.

Sometimes the leaps to get through the decades are unsubtle and you have to stop and quickly work out how old everyone is at each stage, but the weight of time on these people's backs is moving.

The idea of a little girl doing something that ultimately destroys so many lives may seem familiar - it is roughly the notion behind Ian McEwan's Atonement, a Booker nominee in 2001.

That spends longer on its character's time as a child and subsequently conveys what it feels to be a young girl more deeply, more convincingly than William Trevor's tale.

Yet The Story of Lucy Gault is a novel to be fond of: you cannot help caring deeply about the characters and the simple yet awful situation it conveys so starkly.

The Story of Lucy Gault is published by Viking.

Coverage of the 2002 Booker Prize from BBC News Online and BBCi Arts


REVIEWS

IN AUDIO

ALSO FROM THE BBC

TALKING POINT
See also:

16 Oct 02 | Entertainment
13 Aug 02 | Review
19 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes