Cover Image: So Late in the Day

So Late in the Day

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Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed SO LATE IN THE DAY and highly recommend it for fans of literary fiction. Each of the 3 stories is carefully crafted and almost jewel-like in its resonance. Somewhat depressing at times, the narratives explore the various ways in which men and women let each other down. The relationship dynamics seem multi-layered and realistic. Keegan's writing has a lovely cinematic quality.

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Having previously read 'Small Things Like these' and "Foster' I was delighted to read 'So Late in the Day', a collection of three short stories all considering relationships in different ways. The first story, 'So Late in the Day', was my favourite and describes a couple's relationship and their differing expectations of life together. The second story, 'The Long and Painful Death', involves a writer staying at the seaside home of a famous author for a residency. Her search for inspiration is disturbed by a persistent visitor. The final story, Antarctica, about a married woman who decides to leave her family for one night and look for another man to sleep with. The author draws the reader in as she cleverly builds the tension. compelling but very short stories. Thank you to Net galley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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Two short stories and one novella make up this intriguing book. The short stories are very good but the novella Antarctica is very disturbing but all are excellent reads.

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This was my first time reading Claire Keegan and every minute was well- invested.
So Late in the Day is formed by 3 short stories, So Late in the Day the more extensive one,The Long and Painful Day, and Antarctica. The three of them explore human nature through exquisite prose. The length of each is perfect, as well as the language used, and they end in the perfect moment. I would not have minded reading another 3 short stories or at least 1 more, it was a book that I read in one sitting.
For readers looking for something short and well-written, this could be a perfect pick.
Thank you, Grove Atlantic Grove Press and Netgalley, for this e-ARC.

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I really wanted to love this, and in many ways it was interesting and I liked how each story brought a different perspective, it is well written, but somehow I just didn't connect with it,

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Claire Keegan writes with such rigid honesty and I really loved this collection of stories, it felt very on tone with her other works and I appreciate what a reliable and raw writer she is.

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Short and stunning, as always, Keegan writing has a cinematic quality to it; I can always vividly picture the scene in a way that complete pulls me in to the small actions of the story. The tone of foreboding that underpins each of these stories in different ways is effective and deliciously well executed.

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Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the earc !
So late in the day is a collection of three short stories. I found it quite ordinary and none of the three really grabbed my interest. All of the stories were about how men are sleazebags and don't deserve your time. This was my first read of Claire Keegan's works. Maybe I'll try some of her other works.

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Stunning short stories with a very deliberate writing style encapsulating ordinary moments. I would read anything she writes. A lovely reading experience which is a feat in itself, especially when the subject matter isn’t necessarily rosy.

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Simple, yet haunting. I read this in one sitting and then thought about it all night. Each story is slightly different, but all are stark and even scathing in their insights into both men and women. Claire Keegan is quickly becoming an auto-read author for me. These stories feel perfect for reading on the back porch on a crisp fall morning.

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** A copy of So Late in the Day was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **

I think these three short stories cement Claire Keegan as one of the most skilled writers today. All three stories are precise and impactful - there's a quiet depth to every one of these stories! I will definitely read anything she writes in the future.

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Claire Keegan does not disappoint 🙌🏼 Loved both FOSTER and SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE by her previously and both left me in much admiration over her skill with the short story form. The precision! The impact! Each sentence and metaphor carefully considered. The weight of meaning imbuing every silence. She does the same again with the three stories in this collection, each of them having been published elsewhere previously.

All of the stories centre dynamics between different men and women, the little and big things that draw people to one another. Social constraints, barriers of communication, not realising that people aren’t what they seem, sometimes until it is too late. The only downside to this collection is that, being the length of three short stories, it was over before I knew it! Definitely keen to read more by her!

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I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Claire Keegan’s short stories. So Late in the Day is her most recent story, which publishes November 14th, and I read it last month. I enjoyed the first two short stories, but the last one left me feeling conflicted and icky, and it abruptly ended without a resolution. Maybe that was the whole point? I’m not really sure. The stories were all about women and how the men in their lives treat them. I received this advanced ebook from @netgalley and the publisher @groveatlantic.

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I am not usually a fan of short stories, but when they are from an author whose writing I enjoy, I can’t resist. I have read two novellas by Keegan that I really liked; when I saw this offering, I jumped at the chance to read it.

So Late in the Day is a book that consists of three provocative short stories. What they all have in common is that they touch on the tensions involved in male/female relationships.

There is misogyny, danger, sadness, and, in one story, triumph. Keegan’s vivid descriptions pull the reader right into the unfolding scenes. Especially evocative was the drive the main character in the second story embarked on as she traveled to a writing retreat, as well as the description of the property and its locale
Keegan proves once again that one doesn’t have to be wordy to be profound and affecting.

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My emotions toward Cathal, the protagonist in this short story by Claire Keegan, were a mix of frustration and empathy. There were moments when I found myself irritated with his actions, yet other times, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of sadness for him. Keegan skillfully guides us through what should have been a joyous day for Cathal, only to reveal its mundane reality. Through skillful use of flashbacks to his time with Sabine, the woman he was meant to marry, Keegan invites us to question whether those memories were truly happier. In this contemplative exploration, Claire Keegan's exquisite prose delves into the inner world of a man who might not be the ideal partner for most women but evokes a sense of pity and understanding.

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Claire Keegan has mastered the art of saying a lot with few words. Every story has themes of the relationship between men and women, misogyny and patriarchy. All leave you with different emotions, but you're always touched.

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Last year, I read and liked Small Things Like These and Foster. Since then, I've been a fan of Claire Keegan and her writing.

There are three short stories in this collection. Not all are new, some were previously published. This edition includes:

* So Late in the Day 5★
A quiet story about Cathal and his relationship with Sabine. My favorite from this collection.

* The Long and Painful Death 4.5★
A writer takes a retreat to write in Heinrich Böll's house. Soon, a stranger comes and wants to see the house.

* Antarctica 4★
A married woman travels to another town because she wonders what it would be like to sleep with another man.

I love how Keegan slowly builds tension in her stories. And she does the same in her short stories. I rarely enjoy every story included in a collection of short stories. Here, all three are very good and carry a powerful message. I enjoyed all of them, but So Late in the Day stood out for me.

4.5★ but rounded to 5★.

Thanks to Grove Atlantic for the advanced copy and this opportunity! This is a voluntary review and all opinions are my own.

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claire keegan is an astounding writer, and she certainly outdid herself with the three short stories compiled in this volume. i had already read the first one — “so late in the day” — and loved it to bits, but the other two were just as magnificent. she is such a master at creating brief, yet incredibly engaging short stories, as well as characters whose understanding of the world is so deftly put into words that they seem to be real people one may encounter in the streets of dublin or cork or galway, instead of just fictional characters. excellent stuff.

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Surprisingly, this is the first of Claire Keegan’s work I have read and I’m pleased to say it was everything I hoped it would be and I’m now going to read everything by this author.
‘So late in the day’ is a collection of 3 short stories each one a rich character study all so insightful and gripping. Dealing with themes of Misogyny, the dynamics between men and women, desire, violence and betrayal, Keegan succinctly nails each one. I can’t wait to read all her previous writing.

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Look, all anyone has to say is “Claire Keegan” and they’ve got my attention! As my regular readers know, I adored her novella “Small Things Like These” and I immediately became a fan. That’s why I went out and bought her other novella, “Foster” to read right away.

You see, Keegan has a way of writing that is both breathtakingly simple, and yet highly evocative. It is almost like she can see into the souls of her characters. That she can then take that out and write them down is nothing less than genius. Keegan almost forces us to connect with her characters, even when they’re doing things that are less than pleasant. In this collection, we get examples of people who move from what seems normal towards different types of darkness.

This collection has three stories. The first being the titular one, started out very sad, and only got sadder as the story continued. However, as much as we feel for our protagonist, Cathal, we soon understand that he isn’t just some unlucky soul, but someone who did have a bit of a hand in the misfortunes that are befalling him.
In the second story, “The Long and Painful Road” I had to slightly laugh at how Keegan portrays a writer who has been awarded the honor of staying in the Island cottage of the prize-winning writer Heinrich Böll. You’d think that this would stir inspiration, and yet through much of this story Keegen shows us how much writers tend towards procrastination! Furthermore, we also see how writers can be impacted by criticism. Despite all that, even after the muse hits…

The final story, “Antarctica” is the darkest of the three, and the one I found the most disturbing. In this tale, I felt less connected to the protagonist, but wasn’t sure if she really deserved what was happening to her. Yes, she does go out to purposely look for casual sex with a man who isn’t her husband, but still…

The thing about all three of these stories is that in each of them, Keegen leaves us hanging a bit at their conclusions. This isn’t always a bad thing, and in fact, when it comes to shorter works, I mostly prefer to have the option to think about what I’ve read and wonder what happens next. With the first two, that left me feeling mostly hopeful for what Keegen doesn’t tell us. With the last one, I was practically scared, and not at all hopeful, which was disturbing for me. While I thought the story was compelling, I can’t really say that I enjoyed how it ended with such a cliff-hanger.

Obviously, none of this detracted from the beautiful writing here, and as expected, the writing was simply redolently beautiful, and deceptively unpretentious. That said, my thinking is that while these stories are each amazing, I think I prefer her slightly longer works. I can still very warmly recommend this collection, without hesitation! I think, therefore, I’ll give it four and a half stars out of five, and I look forward to reading more collections of her stories in the future (I bought her 2007 collection "Walk the Blue Fields" already).

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