A MEMORY: And Other Stories by Mary Lavin

A MEMORY: And Other Stories

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Miss Lavin continues her quiet recognitions of those tremulous adjustments with which people manage to sustain the major and minor rigors of relationships within the places and pasts which define them. Three of these stories are set in Ireland, the other two in Italy. In the Irish ones, blinkered persons plod along habitual paths but reach no clearings. In the first story, children of two feuding families ape the adult game of status and the group blessed with superior lineage discovers a shocking vine-covered surprise in a cemetery. In ""Asigh"" one father's cruelty to his grown children engenders and lives; and in ""Memories"" a middle-aged professor stumbles toward his life's close, having wounded one woman while bound, unknowing to another. One Italian tale offers some amusing and happy circumstances as well as a deus ex machina (unusual for Miss Lavin) in the form of an admirable priest who rescues a distraught widow from a string of chaotic mischances. The best story, ""Trastevere,"" offers a postmortem assessment of a young woman's fragile balance in a triangle relationship with two men which determined both her apparent strength and then her suicide. As always Miss Lavin writes with luminous certainty and consummate craft.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1973
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin