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The Story of Lucy Gault by [Trevor, William]
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The Story of Lucy Gault Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Length: 244 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Amazon.co.uk Review

Chance is the central theme and malevolent force of William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault. In this haunting novel, suffused with melancholy, Trevor, a masterful chronicler of the sad, lonely and unfulfilled, recounts the tragic life story of a woman buffeted by fate.

The book opens in County Cork in 1921 with the eponymous Lucy as a small girl oblivious to the changes sweeping across Ireland. The Gaults are a Protestant land-owning family: Lucy's father, Captain Everard, was an officer in the British Army and her mother Heliose is English. When three local lads attempt to set fire to their ancestral home Lahardane (a country house in the vein of Elizabeth Bowen's Bowen's Court) Everard shoots and wounds one of the intruders, Horahan. The shot proves to have disastrous and reverberating consequences for the family: consequences that might appear melodramatic if Trevor didn't unfurl them with such subtlety and poise.

Everard and Heloise opt to leave Ireland but just before they are about to depart Lucy runs away. Convinced that she has drowned, the Gaults reluctantly head off into exile. Lucy is discovered alive but attempts to contact her kin fail. As her parents mournfully journey across Europe, Lucy, raised by two faithful servants, whiles away the years reading and waiting for their return. Her isolated existence at Lahardane is finally broken when Ralph, a young teacher, accidentally stumbles upon the house. Slowly, a romance blossoms, although Lucy, plagued by guilt and the ghosts of the past, is simply unable to grasp this chance of happiness. She does eventually find a kind of redemption (kept tantalisingly until the final chapters) but her tale, told with extraordinary beauty, compassion and precision, is ultimately one of endless disappointments. --Travis Elborough

Amazon Review

Chance is the central theme and malevolent force of William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault. In this haunting novel, suffused with melancholy, Trevor, a masterful chronicler of the sad, lonely and unfulfilled, recounts the tragic life story of a woman buffeted by fate.

The book opens in County Cork in 1921 with the eponymous Lucy as a small girl oblivious to the changes sweeping across Ireland. The Gaults are a Protestant land-owning family: Lucy's father, Captain Everard, was an officer in the British Army and her mother Heliose is English. When three local lads attempt to set fire to their ancestral home Lahardane (a country house in the vein of Elizabeth Bowen's Bowen's Court) Everard shoots and wounds one of the intruders, Horahan. The shot proves to have disastrous and reverberating consequences for the family: consequences that might appear melodramatic if Trevor didn't unfurl them with such subtlety and poise.

Everard and Heloise opt to leave Ireland but just before they are about to depart Lucy runs away. Convinced that she has drowned, the Gaults reluctantly head off into exile. Lucy is discovered alive but attempts to contact her kin fail. As her parents mournfully journey across Europe, Lucy, raised by two faithful servants, whiles away the years reading and waiting for their return. Her isolated existence at Lahardane is finally broken when Ralph, a young teacher, accidentally stumbles upon the house. Slowly, a romance blossoms, although Lucy, plagued by guilt and the ghosts of the past, is simply unable to grasp this chance of happiness. She does eventually find a kind of redemption (kept tantalisingly until the final chapters) but her tale, told with extraordinary beauty, compassion and precision, is ultimately one of endless disappointments. --Travis Elborough


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1185 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0074Z3YAM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,527 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the idea of this story but the way it is written to be honest I really struggled with. I put it down so many times and read three other books. I did get to the end mainly as it had been picked by my book club. Otherwise I don't think I would have finished it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written. Fascinating story. My grandfather had to leave Ireland at this time so found it even more poignant.
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Great book. Lovely writing and beautiful melancholy story. Would highly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too melancholy for me and very rambling in parts .
Skimmed too much as lost interest at the end .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful book. Lost my much loved copy which is why I bought another. Only disappointment was that it's an ex-library copy- don't think it was described as such (but maybe wrong!).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A quickly gripping read, of how one childs decision affected the lives of many others, for many years. Tragic and yet heart warming, this story is full of emotion. I was quite compelled. It was let down by a lack of deeper understanding of many of the characters. I was left feeling I had skimmed the surface of their personalities. But that in itslef is intruiging, and possibly intentional. The description of the coast, and other places is fantastic, however, and I really felt transported to the coast of Ireland. I will be recomending this to many friends.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If I was a man considering suicide at any stage of my life then, assuredly, this book would have tipped me over the edge several times. It is unremittingly, intensely, savagely, beautifully sad. It never lets up on the sadness. When one frustratingly, harrowing incident occurs and brings a lump to your throat, you know it won't be long until another one will come along to help you forget it. Now, it has to be said that the characters are so well drawn that you feel you know them all intimately. The fine, detailed, poetic description of the universal decay, the passage of time, the dread of the end(s), the contradictions and continuities are all overwhelmingly beautiful and fabulously drawn. If you have enough valium at hand to get you through the tears then you'll love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good read
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