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Her First Thought Every Morning

Love and Summer by William Trevor


William Trevor is one of the wisest writers about human nature, with only Alice Munro as his close competitor. In a simple style, he describes the thoughts and actions of everyday people in a way that makes their struggles seem both noble and tragic.

An excerpt:

He would go and that he was gone would be her first thought every morning, as her first thought now was that he was here. She would open her eyes and see the pink washed walls as she saw them now, the sacred picture above the empty grate, her clothes on the chair in the window. He would be gone, as the dead are gone, and that would be there all day, in the kitchen and in the yard, when she brought in anthracite for the Rayburn, when she scalded the churns, when she fed the hens and stacked the turf. It would be there in the fields, and with her when she stood with her eggs waiting for the presbytery hall door to open, and while Miss Connulty counted out her coins and the man with the deaf-aid looked for insulation guards or udder pads. It would be there while she lay down beside the husband she had married, and while she made his food and cut his bread, and while the old-time music played. (pages 136-137)

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