Cover Image: So Late in the Day

So Late in the Day

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Member Reviews

With less room for the superfluous, Keegan is a master of short story telling. The simplicity of her succinct prose is quietly devastating. I savour her selection of words (always), but these stories left me with a furrow between my brows.

A compilation of previously published stories, they share a theme of problematic gender relations and an indictment of the patriarchy. The content choice / inspiration gets an A+ from me, but I did not feel particularly moved by any of these stories. I wanted this triptych to make me feel and the only thing I felt was slightly confused.

Perhaps my expectations were too high after reading Smally Things Like These. Keegan is quoted in the Gaurdian as saying “I do think no story has ever been read properly unless it’s read twice. So it’s a longer book, you see, than you think it is, because it needs to be read twice. Double the pages.” Maybe this one just needs a second read? 🙃

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Oh my absolute goodness. I am shooketh by this whole story. I was just so captivated by every part of this story. Claire Keegan is such a gift.

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Claire Keegan's prose is sparse and perfectly so. I enjoyed these stories as I was reading them and they lingered in my brain long after.

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This is my 3rd Claire Keegan book. The best way to describe her books is “quiet.” This does give it a unique quality. However, I feel as though this one was so quiet it was a little forgettable. I always enjoy her books while I read them but none of them really stick with me. However, the writing is still beautiful and I’m sure for the right person very thought provoking. I would still recommend people check her out!

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Claire Keegan's So Late in the Day is a short collection of stories, said to be on the theme of men and women relating. The first story is about a man dealing with his lapsed engagement, the second is about a female writer who meets a rude critic, and the third about a housewife looking for a one-night-stand. Each story touches on misogyny, especially in Ireland. While I found all three stories compelling to read, I was left with a sense of bleakness at the end. This is in sharp contrast to how I felt about her novella, Foster.

This collection is very well-written and starkly examines some hard truths about modern male/ female relationships. However, it was not necessarily what I thought I would get from Keegan, and I had trouble with the way she ended the final story.

Overall, I will still be interested in what Claire Keegan does next, but I won't be buying this one as a gift for my friends.

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So Late in the Day is a drastically different novel than Claire Keegan's last book and I ate it up. I really enjoyed the three different stories in this tiny novella. The last story was an absolute cliff hanger. I would suggest going in blind if you are a fan of stories that can shake you up a bit in just a few pages and are also a fan of the author. This book will make you sit back and really think on a few different topics.

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I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.

Claire Keegan is an autoread author for me and I am glad I got the chance to read this short story collection. Keegan seems to be making a commentary on misogyny in Ireland through three very different characters. As always, Keegan’s writing is quiet but impactful. My only criticism is that there weren’t more stories - the digital version is less than 100 pages.

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A collection of brief short stories centering around the interactions between men and women. A bitter man questions his own behaviors that cost him a relationship. One woman questions why she allows herself to be inconvenienced by an unwelcome guest. Another woman seeks the adventure of an illicit tryst with life altering results.

While Keegan’s writing was superb I ultimately found these stories to be unsatisfying and unsettling. The subject matter was in many ways uncomfortable and likely designed to be so, causing the reader to question their own ability to empathize and wonder why people often engage in activities they don’t really want to in order to accommodate the desires of others. 3.5/5 🌟

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What a crisp and delightful reading experience! My first Claire Keegan volume and certainly not my last. The mastery of her sentence structure to create such clear scenes and insight into her characters is a joy to read. Her meaning reads like poetry but creates a clear path of understanding of place and character intent.

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Claire Keegan is a master story-teller. I loved her stories, and Antarctica was the best. She takes quiet moments and makes them so powerful.

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Claire Keegan’s writing is absolutely brilliant. So Late In The Day is a collection of three short stories. There is a clarity and depth to her writing that is very visual. Each story explores relationships of men and women and there is decided darkness to each of them (SPOILER: the male characters are not nice people). This is writing of the highest caliber.

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Claire Keegan succeeds again in creating a beautifully atmospheric tale. Keegan makes me love short stories.

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I just love this author's writing style which can draw me in and make me feel all the feelings. These stories are centered on misogyny and provoked resentment, rage, and dread.

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Claire Keegan is 2 for 2 for me! I loved these dark, evocative, and deliciously tense short stories. Each story illustrates unique facets by which men counter women, and in each of these instances, Keegan depicts the relationship between the men and women masterfully so to highlight the differences in their perspectives utilizing gender stereotypes. And what's more impressive is that she is able to do this in each of the three stories, wherein the relationships between the men and women range from fiancees to absolute strangers. It was such a pleasure and honour to receive this title to review, and an even greater joy to read the stories.

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Short and sweet yet thought provoking. A man contemplates his own life and upbringing as he makes decisions that impact his future. A peak inside how young female orphans and unwed mothers were treated in Ireland in the 80s. A hard read with an uplifting message.

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Last year, I read Small Things Like These and Foster (my personal favorite) by Claire Keegan so I was enthused when I received an ARC from NetGalley for So Late in the Day: Stories of Men and Women, which contains three previously published short stories by the author in one volume.

I liked all of the stories in the volume and enjoyed once again Keegan's simple way of writing that contains deep meanings about life and human connections. This volume contained the following:

The self-titled So Late in the Day in which a man looks back on how his life could have been different if he had acted differently towards the woman he intended to marry. The Long and Painful Death in which a writer rents the seaside home of Heinrich Böll but an academic keeps dropping by and interrupts her stay with his unwelcome opinions. And finally Antarctica, in which a married woman travels out of town with the intention to cheat on her husband but she falls in the trap of a more dangerous man.

I believe all of these stories are meant to make the reader uncomfortable, and even though So Late in the Day and The Long and Painful Death made me sigh and shake my head, Antarctica gave me actual chills.

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Really enjoyed these three stories by Claire Keegan. I’d previously read the title story about Cathal who I almost feel sorry for at the end of the story. Will he be able to change after recognising his own misogyny? The second story ‘The Long and Painful Death’ about a woman at a writers retreat at Heinrich Boll’s island cottage visited by an angry German professor that the writer turns into inspiration. And lastly ‘Antarctica’ about a married woman in town to do Christmas shopping and sleeps with another man. I don’t expect where this one ended! The writing is so good, just draws you into the story and I couldn’t stop reading.

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I love escaping into Claire Keegan’s beautifully detailed writing. Her takes are always short and pack a punch, and that is certainly the case here. Be warned that this one explores some darkness, more than her others! We have three stories each of which examines the dynamics between men and women, and some of the dark impulses that too often spoil things.

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What an engrossing little book. Every story left me wanting more but not necessarily needing it. They were perfect little glimpses into the lives of a few men and women. I would read a ketchup bottle label if Claire Keegan wrote it.

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So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan packs a lot of power into a short book. As in Keegan's other works, So Late in the Day captures the raw emotions of everyday life in exquisite prose. Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the advanced digital copy.

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