Outside Ireland by William Trevor

outside ireland

Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, short stories

Medium: Paperback

Synopsis: William Trevor’s works are anthologized in this book.  It’s not a complete collection, but each story focuses on England, just ‘outside Ireland,’ and the every day lives of those who live a normal life.  They focus on divorces, affairs, children, and the turbulences of growing old and falling out of love.

Review: Reading this book felt like sitting down at an Irish pub and having a dram.  Trevor depicts the minor and major inconveniences of everyday life (divorces, alcoholism, ruined vacations, missed connections), but by focusing on the characters’ psyches and ideologies, he makes the drab meanderings of everyday life infinitely more interesting.

His characters are real enough to be people you know in real life, and the way he describes well-known places is so beautiful that you begin to see those places in a whole new light.  Trevor takes you to Switzerland, Italy, and France, he introduces you to waiters, daughters, fathers, and lovers.

Each short story follows a slice-of-life narrative, allowing you to take a peek through the curtains into his characters’ personal lives.  Each story is intimate, tinted with sadness, and will leave you wanting a dram at the end of each one.

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