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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
The Story of Lucy Gault: Press views
William Trevor
William Trevor is tipped to win the Booker Prize
Critics review William Trevor's latest novel, The Story of Lucy Gault.


The Observer

In different hands, the trajectory of this story itself would have made for clunking melodrama. Trevor's writing is so simple and poised, however, his sense of pace so exact, his understanding of essential human emotion so sure, that he draws from it something with the force and certainty of myth.


London Evening Standard

When I say that the novel is preoccupied with what is not said, not done, do not be put off. Trevor has written a novel as lovely as his extraordinary novella, Reading Turgenev, which seemed to give expression to the air between the words.


Independent on Sunday

Elegantly written and threaded through with wisdom - about Ireland, as evoked by Trevor's descriptions of its beauty and the ugly deeds carried out in its name, and above all, about the human spirit, which despite the horrors of death and loss, is transformed by goodness.


The Times

Trevor's simple, beautiful prose captures this world of separation, lost possibilities and lost love with powerful grace. This is a book, like Lahardane itself, suffused with an infectious melancholy from beginning to end.


Mail on Sunday

The pleasure of this book lies in Trevor's hypnotic voice, his poignant portrayal both of human misery and the depths of our inner strength. This may be an elegy to a specific rural idyll and bygone age, but it speaks a language of universal, timeless relevance.


The Sunday Telegraph

The genius of William Trevor is that his narrative transfigures pain, disappointment, tedium and even madness into beauty and consolation. There is nothing ecstatic about his prose. On the contrary, the qualities that make it astonishing are those that Captain Gault admires in his daughter: simplicity, precision and a rare ability to understand the remarkable in what appears most ordinary.


The Guardian

Like so much of Trevor's work, this is a story of the past, of memory, and of how time works. Time is the destroyer: "Time has settled our hash for us," Captain Everard says to Horahan. "The past was the enemy." But time is also the appeaser: "What happened simply did", Lucy comes to accept. A woman who "should have died as a child" outlives and survives what happened to her.


The Sunday Times

To the inhabitants of the nearby fishing village and the local market town, what has happened at Lahardane is a tale of shocking calamity. As chronicled by Trevor, it grows into something much subtler, a delicately rendered account of damage, guilt and grief. Bitter with pathos and sometimes desolate with consciousness of loss, it is also surprisingly heartening as it moves in unanticipated ways towards reconciliation.


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


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16 Oct 02 | Entertainment
13 Aug 02 | Review
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