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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT...
This is an intriguing, well-written book of psychological suspense for which its author was the recipient of the 1994 Whitbread Award. Written by a master storyteller, it tells the story of two people whose lives interconnect, only to have repercussions for both in the most unexpected ways.

Felicia is a seventeen year old motherless and naive Irish girl, who...
Published on 19 Jun 2008 by Lawyeraau

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oddly compelling tale
Poor Irish girl gets knocked up, deserted, seeks lover in England. And yet the story turns into something quite different and quite surprising. It's not the most uplifting book I've read, yet I read it in two goes and have thought about it since. It certainly gives an insight into the back stories of those who find themselves destitute. This was the first time I've read...
Published on 11 Aug 2009 by RedQuince


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT..., 19 Jun 2008
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
This is an intriguing, well-written book of psychological suspense for which its author was the recipient of the 1994 Whitbread Award. Written by a master storyteller, it tells the story of two people whose lives interconnect, only to have repercussions for both in the most unexpected ways.

Felicia is a seventeen year old motherless and naive Irish girl, who has become intimate with an Irish boy named Johnny. Of course, the expected ensues, and after Johnny has left Ireland and returned to England where he ostensibly works, Felicia is left holding the bag. Her disapproving father suspects Johnny of actually being in the British Army and, thus, a traitor to his own. He also has a few choice words for his daughter, now that she is in the family way, and none of it is flattering. So, Felicia leaves her rural village and her family and goes off in search of Johnny, having nothing more than the vaguest of ideas where he might be.

She crosses the Irish Sea and arrives in the English Midlands in the industrial city of Birmingham, as she believes Johnny to be working in a lawn mower factory there. In her search for Johnny, she runs into the portly catering manager for one of the local factories. His name is Joseph Ambrose Hilditch, and he is outwardly a jovial and agreeable man, well-liked by his co-workers and meticulous about his culinary repasts. He lives in solitary splendor in the large house in which he grew up. The house is cluttered with collectibles but well- kept, although decorated in the style of a bygone era. Mr. Hilditch is, indeed, a collector, but his collection is initially far beyond Felicia's imaginings. In fact, Mr. Hilditch has a darker side to him, which is not immediately discernible by the unwary.

When Felicia first meets Mr. Hilditch, it is to ask for information, but something about her catches Mr. Hilditch's fancy, and he finds himself keeping Felicia in his crosshairs. When Felicia seemingly unexpectedly runs into Mr. Hilditch again, he directs her to lodgings, and so it begins. As Mr. Hilditch insinuates himself ever so slowly into her life, weaving a fantasy about his own life that is sure to put her mind at ease about him. Felicia begins finding herself ensnared by this ostensibly kind and ever so helpful, avuncular man, and she initially fails to see the darkness that lies at the core of his being.

The author begins the book with Felicia's journey to England in search of her lover. Using flashbacks throughout the story, the author fills in Felicia's background and describes the events that have brought her to the point of making this journey. When Mr. Hilditch is introduced to the reader, the author begins to take the reader into the recesses of his mind, allowing the reader to see what Felicia initially fails to see, the duplicity and cunning that is masked by his overt geniality. Like a spider to the fly, Mr. Hilditch begins laying his trap, and so Felicia's journey thrusts her into the belly of the beast.

With his carefully cadenced prose, the author explores the darker corners of the human psyche, and in the mind of Mr. Hilditch, it is dark, indeed. As his carefully constructed psychological house of cards begins to fall, there are unspeakable revelations as to what lies at the heart of Mr. Hilditch's predilection, and it is not pretty. The author, in taking the reader into the recesses of the mind of each of the two protagonists, tries to explain how it is that each of these two flawed human beings were able initially to achieve a connection with another, only to find ostensible betrayal. What is decidedly different is the way that they each cope with that betrayal.

There is no happily-ever-after ending to this story, which culminates with a conclusion that is quite bleak, robbing the reader of some satisfaction. Fans of Ruth Rendell, however, will very much appreciate the psychological cat and mouse game that is played throughout and will enjoy the author's foray into this genre. As always, the author pens a novel that provides much food for thought on many levels, and the use of the word journey in the title of the book has a much broader meaning within the context of the story. In reading this book, fans will enjoy the elegant, spare prose that they have come to expect from this enormously talented author.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Felicia's Journey, 24 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
Felicia's Journey by that wonderful Irish Author William Trevor - is a wonderful story, sad - so sad - but the tension builds up slowly and the reader begins to feel uncomfortable for what they believe and think is going to happen - I cannot reveal the aim of the character in the book, as it would not allow the reader to slowly begin to realise what is happening. A wonderful read indeed and I have read it twice over the years and still shiver at certain parts of this book. A great read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oddly compelling tale, 11 Aug 2009
By 
RedQuince (Church Crookham, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
Poor Irish girl gets knocked up, deserted, seeks lover in England. And yet the story turns into something quite different and quite surprising. It's not the most uplifting book I've read, yet I read it in two goes and have thought about it since. It certainly gives an insight into the back stories of those who find themselves destitute. This was the first time I've read anything by William Trevor and I will certainly be looking for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Study of a Psychopath, 16 Jan 2014
This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
Felicia's Journey is the story of a young Irish girl. At seventeen Felicia has lost her mother and naively falls for Johnny Lysaght who seduces her. Pregnant and desperate she tries to find Johnny in England. In the process she encounters Mr Hilditch, a fifty four year old bachelor with a psychopathic interest in young vulnerable women.

The story is written in the present tense and the perspective alternates between Felicia and Hilditch. In many ways this is a brave attempt at exploring the psychology of both victim and perpetrator. The expository style at the beginning makes the first part of the book somewhat slow and uninteresting and ultimately the behaviour shown by both characters is not credible. The final scenes with Felicia are particularly unsatisfactory. This is the first book of William Trevor's I have read and having heard much about him can only assume that this is far from his best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great!, 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
Brilliant dark tale, with great suspense and a nail-biting climax. Couldn't put it down as I was so worried about the outcome!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars to be read..., 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
It is such a moving book through Felicia 1st person narrative, and this kind of villain embodied by Hilditch. Enjoy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book, 11 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Kindle Edition)
We read this for our book club. It is a very unusual story, very well written with a story that unfolds in layers. My only disappointment is that several of the threads of the story are left hanging so the reader has to decide what may have happened to the characters. Well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O novel to be remembered, 4 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
I read this book many many years ago and have never forgotten it. The story of the 17 yr old setting out from Ireland to Birmingham to find a soldier she met in Ireland is very moving. I recently purchased it for my daughter .
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most exciting book I've read this year!, 10 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
This gripping tale of a young girls journey to find her lover is unusual and exciting. The characters that she meets as she travels away from her family really come to life. I simply couldn't put this book down until I'd discovered her fate. Definately a book worth reading!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Story unfolds with all the beauty of an unfurling rose., 28 Jun 2014
By 
Allie (Poynton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Felicia's Journey (Paperback)
I read this book because somebody had compared my own work to William Trevor's. I must say that I feel very flattered!
Although a melancholy story with some troubled and tragic characters, this story unfolds with all the natural beauty of an unfurling rose. Layers gradually peel apart to reveal the secret heart; the heart might be blighted and bitter but it's revelation is exquisite. The reason for Felicia's journey, the fate of Mr Hilditch's other women friends, the nature of his relationship with his mother; they all emerge with a natural and organic grace.
Poor Felicia (beautifully ironic name) falls prey to everyone she encounters on her desperate journey from Ireland to track down the boyfriend who left her in the lurch. Mr Hilditch's benign exterior reveals a dark and predatory nature. Even the zealous evangelicals want Felicia for their own dubious purposes.
As her search - hopeless from the start - becomes more desperate, (her money is stolen and even the seedy B & B places she stays in are replaced by squats and shop doorways,) the admirable and beautiful resilience of her spirit begins to shine through. There is a curious though sad dignity in the ending she chooses for herself, the reconciliation she finds with her past and her present.
Trevor's language is deft and evocative and although some readers might find his subject matter distastefully gritty, to me there is beauty in the honesty and truth of it.
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