There is a silent loneliness about the history of Ireland. All the pubs and all the music and all the poems cannot remove this reality. Neither does “The Story of Lucy Gault.”
William Trevor is an extraordinary writer of the Irish soul. He hits the mark here.
The endless battles among religions and the British is the undertone of this novel, but the story set in the 1920s and for decades thereafter is the story of a girl turned woman whose life is lost in the endless conflict.
An 8-year-old, through convoluted circumstances, is displaced from her family and each is left to wonder what happened to the other. The girl remains in her home with a servant and a housekeeper, seeking her parents who roam Europe believing their daughter is dead.
Lucy is her name. She seeks to do right by her family in contacts with “the other side.” She does not believe there is another side, but what is she to do.
What she does is live a life of remorse, unwilling to accept any happiness. There is such sadness here, pain you feel from exquisite writing.
Why, you must ask again, does this endless conflict go on? That is what Lucy tries to figure out in the life we see her lead.
This is a novel of sadness, decency, hope and a lingering myth.
Lucy, rather than surrender, finds that “instead of nothing, there is what is.”
This is a brilliant novel of a life time of challenges and learning.
It will bend your heart and make you wish the decency of Lucy could be the decency of a society locked in an enduring conflict.
“To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.” ― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
The New York Times summer reading suggestions are out. You can find them online at “Summer Reading-New York Times.”
Included in the sports recommendations is Kevin Coward’s “When the Crowd Didn’t Roar,” the story of the game without fans at Camden Yards. I have read it, and think all fans, particularly Oriole fans, will enjoy this read regarding an historical event that was more than a game.
The sports books on the list are:
• “Ballpark” by Paul Goldberger
• “When the Crowd Didn’t Roar” by Kevin Cowherd
• “The World’s Fastest Man” by Michael Kranish
• “The Cost of These Dreams” by Wright Thompson
• “The Great American Sports Page” edited by John Schulian
• “Sprawlball” by Kirk Goldsberry
Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2019 season is his 13th with the club and 34th covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 8th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.
* Hitting the Books with Gary Thorne. © Copyright 2019 Gary F. Thorne. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary F. Thorne and MASNsports.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.