Cover Image: So Late in the Day

So Late in the Day

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Member Reviews

Claire Keegan again brings a story that feels utterly tender and kind. The characters feel like real humans who are at times unaware of their own shortcomings and the story is about how one deals with these shortcomings when they come up in the context of relationships in our lives. The voice of the main character had a calm yet enticing quality to it. I felt my life slow down as I read the book but I wasn't bored in the least. I had felt this way with other Clair Keegan books and felt it again this time. Highly recommend this book.

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I thought I had read everything that Claire Keegan has written, so I was overjoyed when I saw this little volume was available on NetGalley. So Late in the Day is a collection of three short stories. I felt the same wonder and appreciation I've previously enjoyed after reading something written by Keegan when I read the title story, "So Late in the Day". But after finishing the second and third stories, it dawned on me that I had read them before. That was when I finally read the book description, "Claire Keegan now gifts us three exquisite stories, newly revised and expanded, together forming a brilliant examination of gender dynamics and an arc from Keegan’s earliest to her most recent work." Reading Claire Keegan's stories once is a treat, and reading them more than once is even better. Intricate yet sparse, full of emotion, pleasure, pain, and fully formed characters in the space of a short story- Claire Keegan's writing has it all.

Thank you to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. This book will be published on November 14, 2023.

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Simply perfect, as to be expected from Claire Keegan. Keegan has a way of dropping you right into the middle of a piece of everyday life and tearing out your heart. Perfectly drawn characters, she always leaves you wanting more of the story.

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Clare Keegan's work is amazing, so I was thrilled to find and read this collection of short stories. Authentic and unflinching, the stories reflect the difficulties of relationships despite the ways we may romanticize them. Highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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These three stories by Claire Keegan include three of her previously published short stories, but are now included in this collection of stories which aren’t technically connected, but are linked by themes of ’love, lust, betrayal, misogyny, and the ever-intriguing interchanges between women and men.’ I was so glad that this came out as a collection since I love the way that she writes, but had yet to read these any of these three stories.

Beginning with ’So Late in the Day’, followed by ’The Long and Painful Death’ this collection ends with ’Antarctica’

’So Late in the Day’ shares the story of Cathal, a man who is looking back over the years, remembering a woman that, perhaps, he might have had a life with if he had been another, better, man.

The second story ’The Long and Painful Death’ revolves around a woman, a writer who is currently at a writing residency, trying to work on her writing during these two weeks when a man who she doesn’t know appears at her door, clearly upset that she has been offered this residency instead of himself. He is dismissive of her as a writer, and a woman.

’Antarctica’ is the third and final story, a story which reminded me of a song my mother used to play far too often Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife’ by Glen Campbell - at least as it begins. A woman who is content in her marriage, but wants a taste of something less tame, just a break from their routine, and so she goes to the city to spend the weekend.


Pub Date: 14 Nov 2023

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Grove Atlantic, Grove Press

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I basically worship the ground Claire Keegan walks on, because everything I have read from her has sucked me in wholly and this is no exception! While these stories are much less hopeful than her previous ones, they are painfully real and executed very well. You feel for the women in these stories, and question the men in them.

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Something about this collection didn’t click with me. The writing was good, but everything seemed too clinical, like thought experiments rather than depictions of real people going through real things. I loved the author’s other books, so maybe my hopes had just been set too high for this.

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I am again blown away by Claire Keegan's writing and her incredible ability to transport you to different people's lives in so few words. I loved each of the stories in this collection - they are a lot darker and less wholesome than 'Foster' and 'Small things like these', and are about gender, misogyny, and desire.

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This stunning short story trilogy has been fully updated in a revised edition (publication date November 2023). The writing is textbook Claire Keegan: so astute and intuitive that she captures the essence of both colourful and mundane characters embroiled in unique moral-maze situations.

I am in total awe of this writer; God, how I love her work. Whenever I finish a story, I cannot wait to begin another.
A brief synopsis of each is below. I could have written more but held off for fear of spoiling these captivating narratives.

SO LATE IN THE DAY
Realisation dawns … too late. This first story literally had me in tears.
It's a cautionary tale of love's labours lost and how the legacy of being raised in a misogynistic household can have untold consequences in later life. I have seldom read such a delicious and infuriating short story. I was so caught up in it that I wanted to shake some sense into the protagonist.

THE LONG AND PAINFUL DEATH
Such dreamy poetic prose. Such beautifully descriptive writing. Yet the beauty is overshadowed by a tangible sense of foreboding. This tale has a Victorian gothic feel and a generous dose of righteous retribution.

ANTARCTICA
Be careful what you wish for. This narrative is so alluring, so addictive, that we fall prey to allowing ourselves to be led by our protagonist's hand as she embarks on a flight of immoral fancy.

My sincere thanks to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for granting this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. More from CK, please!

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I’m always surprised books like these get published. PLEASANTLY surprised that is. The world seems to largely want bombastic bestsellers, books loud in action or emotion, and Keegan’s work is so quiet. Just these lovely brief slices of life rendered in the language that would make poets swoon (and/or weep with inadequacy).
This is my third read by the author, and I enjoyed it just as much as the other two books. Keegan’s stories are poignant, melancholy, striking with their linguistic precision and emotional depth.
Love the cover of this one too.
A lovely quiet read for a harsh and loud world. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

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So Late In The Day is a series of three short stories with the link of gender and relationships. It's a short read but Claire Keegan writes so beautifully, you'll want to take your time over it. A brilliant read.

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