There are certain things I've come to expect of characters in Irish novels. Even when beautifully rendered, I brace myself, waiting for them to fall into their inevitable roles. In Love and Summer, William Trevor casts the familiar cast of an Irish village. But there's nobody to be for and against in this book. So you find yourself for them all. In the midst of this lovely congregation, there's a struggle for love and for freedom, an interplay between the past and present, between memories, myth and hope.
I love Trevor for his lack of epic crescendos. Though there are no crescendos of plot, there are of prose. His writing soars. And reading it fills me with the kind of elation that also feels strangely close to sadness; when something is so beautiful it could break your heart.