cover image The News from Ireland

The News from Ireland

William Trevor. Viking Books, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81069-7

Trevor, whose recent books include Fools of Fortune and A Writer's Ireland, adds to his formidable reputation with this fine collection. The stories here depict ordinary people in mundane situations, but the author's insight into the human condition, coupled with his clean, spare prose, makes these characters and their predicaments vibrant and memorable. The title story tells of a young English woman who arrives in Ireland in 1847 to be governess in the home of the Protestant Pulvertaft family, whose estate is being restored to its former glory while the potato famine ravages the rest of the country. The governess agonizes over several moral questions, and over a decision that will change her life. Set in London, Venice, Florence and rural Ireland, these 12 tales have a quiet but resonating power that tug at the heart. (May 12)