Picks and Pans Review: After Rain

updated 02/17/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/17/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

by William Trevor

Throughout his remarkable career as a novelist and short-story writer, Trevor has remained astutely sensitive to the shifting storms and consequences of everyday life. In the opening story of this brilliant collection, a blind and widowed piano tuner—jealous and saddened by the happiness he knew in his previous marriage—can do nothing to stop his new wife from redescribing and reinterpreting his world. But the simple changes in the decor of a room, the color of a mountain, the manners of a friend matter less—as Trevor presents them—than the damage she un-wittingly does to the memories of a world his first wife lovingly gave him. The other stories in After Rain have a similar poignancy. Whether writing about an Irish Protestant's vision of a Catholic saint, the letter a wife intercepts from her husband's lover or a nasty divorce, Trevor masterfully details the rippling implications, proving that the most effective drama comes from the aftermath of events and not from the events themselves. In the title story a young woman escaping the heartbreak of love journeys to Italy and finds solace in a fresco depicting the Annunciation. Like the Old Masters, Trevor creates moments that are evocative and incandescent. His messages linger and hang in the air. (Viking, $22.95)

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