Rose Wept by William Trevor – Selection 9 of #DealMeIn2018

The Card♠Ten♠ of Hearts

The Suit: For 2018, I have devoted the suit of ♠Hearts♠ to the stories of William Trevor, a personal favorite author of mine who passed away in 2017.

The Selection: Rose Wept – from the collection “William Trevor: Selected Stories” which I own via an e-copy

The Author: William Trevor. A “KBE” (Knight of the British Empire), Trevor is widely acknowledged as one of the best contemporary writers of short stories. I was first introduced to him via the “Ana the Imp” blog (sadly, no longer active) whereafter I read through his great collection “After Rain.” The title story of that volume after rainremains one of my all time favorites. I blogged about it here. There are a couple other stories of his that I’ve blogged about before, Gilbert’s Mother and Lost Ground. “I’m very interested in the sadness of fate, the things that just happen to people,” – William Trevor (as quoted by Publishers Weekly in 1983)

What is Deal Me In? I’m glad you asked!  Full details may be found here  but generally speaking it’s a reading challenge where participants try to read one short story a week for the year, the reading order being determined by the luck of the draw. See here for the list of stories I’ll be reading in 2018. Check the sidebar for links to other book bloggers who are participating in this year’s challenge.

Rose Wept

“She wept for his silent suffering, for his having to accept a distressing invitation because of her mother’s innocent insistence… She wept for the brittle surface of her mother’s good-sort laughter and her father’s jolliness, and Jason’s (her older brother) settling into a niche. She wept for all her young life before her, and other glimpses and other betrayals.”

Rose Dakin is a marginal student, one on the cusp of being admitted to a good university. What do well-meaning parents do when their child is in that situation?  Well, if you’re the Dakins, you hire a tutor to ensure a successful move for your child up the next rung of the latter.

The occasion of the story is a dinner party to celebrate Rose having been admitted to university and, since the tutor, Mr. Bouverie, was instrumental in her success, he and his wife were invited. His wife “can’t make it” and therein is the introduction of the gist of the story, the whole of which takes place at the dinner, but, through flashbacks, we learn “The Rest of the Story” about Mr. (& Mrs.) Bouverie. Seems all this time – a year of Thursdays – whenever Rose would visit him, Mr. Bouverie’s wife would use the time to entertain a special male “guest,” a certain “Mr. Azam.”

When she realizes what is going on, Rose at first feels terrible for Mr. Bouverie, yet indelicately shares the knowledge with her gaggle of young friends. Later, to her increased horror, she realize that Mr. Bouverie is aware that this is going on. As one of her friends says “When a husband knows, he’s not so much a cuckold as complaisant.”

During the dinner Rose imagines what hell the life of Mr. Bouverie must be, and regrets not being there for him as some kind of confidant, but “had betrayed him” (by telling her friends) even before he offered any confidences.

A sad and bitter story which left me wondering how Rose would “do” at University – and indeed for the rest of her life. If I were a betting man, I’d say her parents “won’t be much help.”  It’s as if this one dinner laid bare all the pitiable features of her life – and Life with a capital L as well. I hope she makes it.

♫♫ Personal Note:  I did learn a new “word” while reading this story.  Do you know what a “Gooseberry Fool” is?  It’s an English Dessert made by “folding pureed stewed fruit (normally Gooseberries) in sweet custard”  (or whipped cream). According to Wikipedia, ROSE water may be added as a flavouring agent, so there’s my Deal Me In coincidence of the week.  P.S. Looks delicious!

What short stories did YOU read this week? Are you enjoying the “8th Annual” Deal Me In challenge?

Advertisements

11 Comments

  1. Paula Cappa said,

    February 28, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I’m reading Edith Nesbit Collection of Short Stories. All ghost stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      February 28, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      I don’t think I’ve read her, but she’s going on the list if she writes ghost stories! 🙂

      Like

  2. Dale said,

    February 28, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Whenever my first wild card pops up, I’m pretty sure I’ll read a William Trevor story. Maybe for all of them!

    Meanwhile, for Week 9, I’m reading “Bright and Morning Star” by Richard Wright. It’s a little longer than the other stories I’ve read so far this year.

    Like

    • Jay said,

      February 28, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Didn’t Wright write that story “The Man was Almost a Man”? I’ve read him via others if not that one. I’m anxiously waiting for my old card in my Trevor suit which be a reread of a favorite by him – I just don’t know which one yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale said,

        March 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

        Yeah, Wright did write that one. I need to look up whether I read that one at some point. It sounds familiar.

        Like

  3. marianallen said,

    February 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Well I hope you’re satisfied. I paid actual money and bought a William Trevor book AFTER RAIN. It’s breaking my heart, man, it’s breaking my heart! Great stuff. Seriously, thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      February 28, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      Sorry(!?)🙂 One of my favorite collections! Some of those stories have stayed with me for years. I’m going to revisit one of them when I draw my wild card in my Trevor suit this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. vidyatiru said,

    March 1, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Trevor, as I mentioned before is my wild card.. 🙂
    and finally all caught up – weeks 7 through 9 up http://www.ladyinreadwrites.com/loyalty-revenge-and-growing-up-emotions-run-high-here/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jay said,

      March 1, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Looking forward to hearing what you think of Trevor when his turn comes around. (I also commented on your post at your blog)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. N@ncy said,

    March 3, 2018 at 6:55 am

    I read a short story (review is in progress…) this week
    …and it stil lingers in my mind. That is what great writers do….they linger!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. vidyatiru said,

    April 8, 2018 at 7:17 am

    my short review for this week – my short story for week 13

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: