I read three more stories by William Trevor over the weekend and he’s still keeping my interest. I’m not sure whether these stories rise to the level of “After Rain”, but I’m glad I read them.
“A Friendship” was my favorite in which Francesca is torn between her marriage to Phillip and her long-time friendship with Margy. In similar fashion to “After Rain”, the current story tends to take place in an Italian bistro while the real story takes place in the form of flashbacks within the minds of all three characters. The friendship and the marriage almost become characters themselves. While the marriage relationship seems to win in the story, Trevor’s beautiful writing made me think that he was just a little more sympathetic toward the friendship.
“Timothy’s Birthday” puzzled me the most out of these three stories. If I go back to Jay”s (at Bibliophilopolis) idea that Trevor’s writing gives impressions as opposed to always having a set plot, I would say that his impression in this story is disappointment. Charlotte and Odo plan their adult son Timothy’s birthday dinner as they do every year. However, this year, Timothy sends his nineteen year-old friend Eddie to tell them that he’s not feeling well and won’t be able to make it. The puzzling aspect revolves around what seems like an odd business relationship between Timothy and Eddie. It’s never quite spelled out, but Timothy’s parents seem just as puzzled by it. They fully realize that Timothy simply doesn’t want to come to their dinner for him. Like the other stories I’ve read, Charlotte, Odo, Timothy and Eddie all take turns telling the story.
“Child’s Play” tells the story of a boy and a girl becoming friends as a result of their parents’ divorce. Gerard’s mother marries Rebecca’s father. The two children act out scenes from their parents’ divorce during their playtimes and ultimately tell the entire story. Actual scenes from the parents get melded together with the children’s acting to the point that it doesn’t matter who’s doing the telling. It’s an unusual way to organize a story, but Trevor pulls it off. I’m not sure that a lesser writer would have been able to do it as well.
Look for more William Trevor stories in the future!