LOVERS OF THEIR TIME AND OTHER STORIES

What more can one say about Trevor? He is a master story teller of immaculate diction; he lays out initial scenes so cannily that you're clapped and sealed into an entire fictional world for the mesmerizing duration; and moreover, Trevor is uniquely sensitive to the moment of heartbreak—when what has seemed rich and secure in fancy or fact abruptly dissolves to reveal the vein of hurt or melancholy on which it fed. In these ten short stories, Trevor tests the reverberations of violence—wars, declared or de facto, atrocities to mind or body—that snake through time and distance to invade quiet lives. In "Matilda's England," the child Matilda hears crucial words from a fragile elderly WW I widow—"Cruelty was natural in war"—but doesn't understand their meaning till World War II kills off her adored father and brother; wounded by grief, she learns to wound, to isolate herself, ending up crabbed and alone in the long-dead widow's rapidly decaying mansion. In "Attracts," an aging schoolmistress, long ago orphaned by terrorism, ends her career in a tirade that pays tribute to a suicide in the Irish struggles; in "Torridge," public-school reunion revelers are joined by a legendary figure of fun from their past—and they learn that old cruelty can take root and flourish right up to the terrifying present. And the title story follows the bumbling affair of a clerk and salesgirl, an affair consummated in the palatial public bathtub of a splendid hotel—a Sixties' fantasy that became "miraculously real," now a sweet recollection in the sour and failed Seventies. These and other memorable portraits of good people tainted by hard times: the art of William Trevor, in an exemplary collection.

Pub Date: April 10, 1979

ISBN: 0140051406

Page Count: 278

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1979

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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