Cover Image: So Late in the Day

So Late in the Day

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Member Reviews

Claire Keegan is unparcelled when it comes to short fiction. She can accomplish more in the span of a story or novella than most of her contemporaries can in a much longer novel. All three of these stories are amazing and evocative with characters and themes that wills stay with the reader long after finishing. Each of these stories is an absolute gem. I have a hard time picking a favorite. This small collection might be my favorite book of hers that I have read and has been catapulted into the top five books I have read in the past few years. I eagerly look forward to reading more by Keegan; she is masterful.

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In just three short stories, Keegan masterfully explores misogyny & relationships. She creates vivid scenes, each moment perfectly placed to deliver unforgettable emotional gut punches.

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I really enjoyed this collection of 3 stories, this is the first book I have read by this author and I really like the way she writes. The last story 'Antarctica' actually really impressed me, those last few pages went in a direction I was not expecting and I was thinking about it all night! I'd say the first two stories were around 3/5 but the last story for me was a 5/5!

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As a big fan of short stories and after really enjoying Small Things Like These, I had high hopes for this one. This book contains 3 short stories that explore the complexities of relationships. Overall, I just feel this one wasn’t for me. I didn’t resonate with any of the stories and wasn’t invested.

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Claire Keegan is the best in the biz when it comes to short stories. She has a way of drawing her readers in, wanting more and more.

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This is the third book by Claire Keegan that I've read (after Foster and Small Things like These) but unlike the others this one consisted in three short stories that were already published and then collected into this small volume. Similarly to my previous experience reading her novels, I loved this one too, if not even more as every story revolved around ordinary lives of men and women and important topics like betrayal, misogyny and relationships. Though the stories and themes were not extraordinary by any means, what most stood out for me was definitely the writing style: each one was written beautifully, and it flowed perfectly creating very distinct images. I felt constantly as I were watching short movies and I was immersed in every sentence. This was a 5/5 for me, absolutely.
Thank you so much Netgalley and Grove Press for the ACR!

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This book contains three short stories by Claire Keegan that delve into the dynamic between men and women. Of the three stories, Antartica is my absolute favorite. Every time I read Keegan I am awed by her mastery of language and how she can’ paint such vivid pictures, craft such complex, developed characters and create stories that capture and absorb me in such a small set of pages and words. I love her work and will continue to read and recommend her to everyone, Her writing stays with you long after you’ve finished the stories. Highly recommend this book.

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Claire Keegan writes in a way that lets the words and meaning breathe. So Late in the Day: Stories of Women and Men is a collection of short stories that reminded me how women are at the mercy of male whims, emotions, aggression and ideologies, those learned from a young age and those festered in lonely times. Of the three stories, Antarctica is the one that I keep coming back to.

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In only three stories, Claire Keegan is able to completely win you over. I am so impressed by how vivid her writing is, succinct yet detailed. Keegan is a complete master: her short fiction leaves you totally wide-eyed, eager for more.

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Claire Keegan is a master. I'd previously read Antarctica in the collection of the same name, and the story was just as haunting the second time around. Keegan's ability to give depth to her characters, and make the reader truly care about them and become invested in them, in such a brief form is unmatched. Her writing is beautiful, raw, gutting and simply...human. I can't recommend her short stories and novellas enough. Her name is the first that comes to mind whenever giving reading suggestions. Excellent.

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My thanks to Grove and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this short book.
It is a little strange, made up of only 3 short stories, 2 of which have been published in book form already.
They are amongst Keegan's best, so I will give this a 4 out of 5 (and not a 5, since there is so little new material here, let alone any material).
This could be a good intro book to Keegan's writing. But given that her complete oeuvre is about 350 pp, in small format books, with large font and lots of white between lines, you can pretty much quickly introduce yourself to her writing by picking up any of her books.
Kind of a head-scratcher on why this is being published.
Go read the long short story "Foster" and the short story collection "Antartica" (the title story is included in here) instead.

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Claire Keegan is such a master of short fiction; very few short story writers amaze me the way she does, with her precise, spare, careful writing style. I was surprised by this set of three stories for how it leaves you with the opposite feelings of some of her other work, like Foster and Small Things Like These. She expertly evokes dislike and dread over a handful of pages in understated, slow reveals. While these weren't my favorite work by her, they're still impressive, and build well on each other in their depictions of, especially, men and their thoughts on women.

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I really enjoyed Claire Keegan's "Small Things Like These" so I was really excited to read this collection through Net Galley. I didn't actually realize these were previously published short stories. All three were excellent. Keegan does an amazing job of portraying her characters so solidly especially when you consider the short length of some of these stories.

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This is a short collection of Keegan’s works, made up of So Late in the Day, The Long and Painful Death, and Antarctica.

The first, So Late in the Day, posed some difficult questions for me and how I have thought about those I have dated in my life – what it is that I had expected and what the implicit energy behind my actions had been.

The Long and Painful Death is another tale of an author - nothing spectacular, but with the added benefit that I learned about the Heinrich Böll cottage and the 2-week residencies that they offer authors who want to just go and write and be.

Antarctica is one of her oldest pieces, repurposed for this collection. It was certainly the most surprising in terms of tone and content matter, given what she has done previously with Foster and Small Things Like These.

If you love Claire Keegan, I am willing to bet that you’ll be okay with most of what happens here.

Thank you to Grove Press for the ARC.

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Thanks to Grove Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Claire Keegan's 'So Late in the Day.'

Claire Keegan's work is sparse and spare and kicks you in the guts. This collection of three short stories/novellas is no different. Men do not come off well in these stories but, then again, nor do women, especially, so it's probably fair!

'So Late in the Day' sees a young man who was raised in a particular family dynamic unable to shake that behavioral-type when he meets a woman he thinks he'd like to spend the rest of his life with only to find that, in the course of a generation, things have changed.

'The Long and Painful Death' sees a female author beset by an entitled male author who thinks he's more deserving of the privilege that has been afforded to her.

'Antarctica' is a somewhat different story than I've previously associated with Keegan and features a woman who embarks on a 'final fling' and who's left in a predicament she didn't see coming.

Claire Keegan's writing is, as always, to the point and cutting while remaining beautiful.

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It's Claire Keegan, so every word and sentence is precise and considered for the effect she's creating. But man, if Foster and Small Things Like These evoked hope and the reassurance that people (men, especially) can be good, then this collection reminds readers of how awful people (men, especially) can be.

Thanks to Netgalley for the advance copy.

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REVIEW
So Late in the Day feels like a departure in Claire Keegan’s work. The short novella evolves around a day in Cathal’s life. A seemingly ordinary day of work, commuting from Dublin to home in Arklow, a microwave dinner, and watching a random television show, while eating leftover cake. But Keegan wants us to pay attention to the details, the title of the book the woman sitting beside Cathal on the bus is reading, the knife used to stab the plastic of the Weight Watchers chicken and then to cut the cake, the tab of small amounts of money that Cathal keeps in his head, how Mathilde the cat is locked in and locked out, the socks left by the sofa.

So Late in the Day is the story of a brief relationship between Cathal and Monika and Keegan’s exploration of misogyny. The construction of the narrative is deceptively simple, but Keegan is a master at her craft, and while the perspective appears to be that of Cathal as readers we are seeing his thoughts and actions through the eyes of Monika. The device is effective and the result is a narrative written in a language that is full of the mundane, scarce, direct, and devoid of the lyricism of her earlier works. The action takes place in a series of interiors from the office, to the bus, and house, where Cathal closes the curtains blocking the summer light from coming through the window. The claustrophobia of the enclosed spaces on a hot day in July echoes the hopelessness of the story. Perhaps a woman escaped, but others are walking into doors in Ireland in 2017, where couples attend a Vermeer exhibition and some men look at the masterpieces and just see portraits of women sitting idly as if waiting for their male counterparts to give them animation or meaning. Similar to her previous work, So Late is a compelling story to reread and unveil layer upon layer of meaning and I invite you to do just that when it comes out later this month.

Thank you to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for this proof. Reviews of the other two stories included in this collection coming soon.

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Three fantastic short stories, exploring the relationship between men and women. Misogyny is rampant.
The style of Keegan's prose always reminds me of Joyce's Dubliners, haunting slices of daily life.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan to read and review.
So Late in the Day is a collection of three short stories, which all center around a certain theme, and showing men to be just, well, awful. But also the women are possibly no better. In the case of 'Antarctica', a woman decides to cheat on her husband, and unfortunately the man she chose to sleep with was an awful possesive person. Was that maybe the price she had to pay for her actions.
Out of the three stories, i felt the first one and the title of the book was the better, I really felt I could understand Cathal and was in his mind.
Unfortunately, 'The Long and Painful Death' and 'Antartica' made me feel quite uncomfortable and I didn't enjoy those so much.
Short stories are newer for me to read and i'm starting to learn what I do and don't like in them. While I read Claire Keegan's previous book 'Small Things Like These' and really enjoyed it, this one didn't quite hit the same mark.

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Even though I had already read two of the three stories in this collection I savored reading them again and certainly got a greater appreciation rereading them. I had never read the story Antarctica before and can say this goes to a place you are not expecting (not a literal place like Antarctica however) The author treats a number of ways that things between a man and a woman can go wrong from condescension and extreme selfishness to quite an extreme( to say more would be a spoiler). After finishing this collection I read the author’s earlier collection Antarctica and now I have read all the published Claire Keegan that is readily available.

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