Beth's Reviews > The Story of Lucy Gault

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
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's review
Feb 13, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: 1001-books, around-the-world-group, audiobooks

"As the surface of the seashore rocks were pitted by by the waves and gathered limpets that further disguised what lay beneath, so time made truth of what appeared to be. The days that passed, in becoming weeks, still did not disturb the surface an assumption had created. The weather of a beautiful summer continued with neither sign nor hint that credence had been misplaced. The single sandal found among the rocks became a sodden image of death; and as the keening on the pier at Kilauran traditionally marked distress brought by the sea, so did silence at Lahardane.”

This is a novel in which small events have devastating consequences. The tale is set in motion by an unsuccessful attempt by Irish youths to set fire to the home of a wealthy landowner and his English wife. Captain Gault, the landowner, accidentally shoots one of the boys in the shoulder when trying to scare them off. After his overtures to the family of the injured boy are rejected, Evert and his wife decide it isn't say to stay in Ireland, so they prepare to close the house and go abroad. Their young daughter Lucy, not wanting to leave, runs off to be with the one of the staff who has been let go, but twists her ankle in the woods on the way. A dog in the area has stolen items of her clothes in the past when she has been swimming, and has buried them in rocks near the edge of the sea. When Lucy doesn't come back from playing and her father finds the clothes, she is assumed to have drowned. Eventually the bereft parents go abroad, haunted by grief, and only once they have left, is Lucy discovered in a fallen down vagrant's hut in the woods, almost dead from starvation.

The tale follows Lucy, her parents, and the boy who was shot in the shoulder as their various destinies play out. It is a story about loss, faith, loyalty, the prison of preconceptions, guilt, forgiveness, and gratitude. It is a beautiful and haunting novel.

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Reading Progress

February 13, 2014 – Started Reading
February 13, 2014 – Shelved
February 13, 2014 – Shelved as: 1001-books
February 13, 2014 – Shelved as: around-the-world-group
February 13, 2014 – Shelved as: audiobooks
February 16, 2014 – Finished Reading

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