So, it is with some surprise that I realise that weeks after finishing this book, I can remember details from each of the twelve stories that make up After Rain, and I suspect that this collection will haunt my memory for a very long time to come. The first thing that strikes me is that he always writes about what he knows; the world of his stories, with one or two exceptions, revolves around a homogenous group of people: Irish Protestants living in rural settings. A few stories are set in or around London and one in Italy, and we suspect that Trevor has also lived in such places for lengthy periods.
After reading @Laysee's wonderful "wham-bam-boo" review, I eagerly added this selection of twelve short stories to my creaking list.
This is most evident in After Rain: Stories, a collection of twelve short stories, each parsimoniously crafted to reveal the undercurrents that churn beneath the small things in quotidian life. Trevor wrote about ordinary people living ordinary lives mostly in the small towns of Ireland or England and about relationships, especially, the fragility of marriage. In Friendship and A day, couples kept secrets from each other or had summer affairs on the side. In "Childs Play", two children from a reconstituted family, in a sad but funny way, sought cathartic relief in play acting scenes when their parents love affairs were discovered.
Before starting to read these stories you should do some yoga or breathing exercises to slow down and relax, to arrive at the right pace for reading them.
Therefore I chose to write my greatest story about a wild elephant (since Corbett had written about tigers, and I did not want to appear to be too derivative), who of course went mad with elephant madness and stamped on villagers. My fellow short story writers probably understand this: Why improve on self-evident perfection?
I was glad of the opportunity to read these stories for the current season's challenge. But he is so sad, I was also glad I could intersperse these stories among some other reading.
Mr Trevor, if you wanted to get me to keep thinking about your characters, long after the story, well, youve mostly succeeded. Violet the first wife is very dedicated but she seems more like his manager than his soul mate. Belle the second wife seems madly in love with him, but her youth and her beauty took second place to Violets practicality. As she goes about uprooting the vestiges of Violets legacy, Owen decides to close one eye (sorry for the pun). He sees (sorry for the pun again) his relationship with his wives as contradictions like black and white keys on a piano. A Friendship This was my favourite story, not that the characters are likeable, except for the two mischievous and rambunctious boys. Timothys Birthday Charlotte and Odo are the exemplary married couple. Childs Play Broken marriages take the greatest toll on the children. This story was a little bit difficult to follow because of the blurred line between actual events and the childrens play acting. So the question of their relationship: Widows or sisters first? The story insinuates that Gilbert is a very bad boy.
He could have returned to Ireland once he became a successful writer, he said, "but by then I had become a wanderer, and one way and another, I just stayed in England ... A number of other prizes followed, and Trevor began working full-time as a writer in 1965. Since he began writing, William Trevor regularly spends half the year in Italy or Switzerland, often visiting Ireland in the other half.