Cover Image: So Late in the Day

So Late in the Day

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Member Reviews

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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Claire Keegan absolutely never disappoints, This is the third of her books I've read this year, and every one of them has tugged at my heart strings. She manages to do in 100 pages what many authors don't achieve I'm 500, and the richness of her language, the compassion behind her stories, is incredible.

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I once read an article that talked about how short fiction was the height of artistry, most respected among the highest echelons of literary society. We fall in love with the characters of the Moscow set in War and Peace because we spend over 1000 pages with them, spanning years, marriages, heartbreaks, and death. It's much more difficult to connect emotionally in less than 200 pages, even more so with less than 50. Honestly, though, I never did connect with short fiction. No novella or short story ever made me feel like Tolstoy or Dumas. That is, until I read Claire Keegan's Small Things Like These.

So Late in the Day is three stories by Keegan. Having been introduced by Keegan's work in the form of novellas, I was excited to try her short stories and I was not disappointed. Keegan evokes the realest, richest feelings in readers. She doesn't even need a book length story to do it. She's a gem and I will read absolutely anything she writes. So should you!

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Loved this - can't wait for more from Claire Keegan. Each story from her is like a tiny shiny well polished jewel. Will definitely be recommending.

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Thank you netgalley for the ARC of this beautiful book! Claire Keegan is one of my favorite writers. In this short story collection, she explores gender dynamics and defied expectations. Each of Keegan's three stories builds a layered situation and then turns it on its head; a wisp of a moment, a careless remark, or a premeditated change sets the course of a day or a life on a dramatically different trajectory, and it's fascinating to read as various unravelings begin and build momentum.

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I'm new to the works of Claire Keegan, but I'm excited to read her other works. This was phenomenal. This is layered and moving, and gripped me immediately. One of the included stories, Antarctica, was haunting--I've thought of it often since reading it. I'll likely be thinking about it for a long time after posting this review.

Really stunning and impressive.

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Claire keegan is a master at her craft-the art of the short story. She has impressed me several times now with how she is capable of packing such a punch in such a short amount of pages, & the same can be said here. I don’t generally love short stories, so the brevity is something I have to make a point of overlooking, but as in the other books of Keegan’s that I have read i was very pleasantly surprised by how much stark honesty & profound emotion and relatability can be found in just a few pages. I much prefer Keegan’s novella length stories, but some of these were as good as any short story I’ve ever read!

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Claire Keegan’s collection, So Late in the Day: Stories of Men and Women, contains three short stories— one looking back upon a failed relationship, one providing a slice of life look at a female writer’s residency, and one following a house wife travelling out of town. These short stories ranged from mildly disturbing to full on gruesome, and misogyny was a key theme in each. Despite the dark material, I appreciated Keegan’s insightful observations and her simple, but powerful prose. I look forward to reading more of Keegan’s work.

Thank you to Grove Press and NetGalley for the advanced readers copy!

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Claire Keegan is one of my favorite writers; in these three stories, she builds layered situations--and then turns them on their heads, in fascinating fashion.

Down on the lawns, some people were out sunbathing and there were children, and beds plump with flowers; so much of life carrying smoothly on, despite the tangle of human upsets and the knowledge of how everything must end.

In the brilliant, Irish-born Claire Keegan's newest slim story collection, she explores gender dynamics and defied expectations, and she considers what might be or might have been between the sexes.

Three stories written during various eras in Keegan's career are revised and expanded here: "Antarctica" (which appears in the previously published short story collection Antarctica) explores a married woman's curiosity about being with another man; "The Long and Painful Death" follows a writer at a retreat who faces a headstrong fellow writer; and in "So Late in the Day," a man reflects on what might have been with his lost love, had he made different choices.

These disparate stories showcase Keegan's perfectly spare, captivating storytelling; her writing feels to me like long-form poetry in its striking, unexpected, yet precise language and its evocative power.

Each of Keegan's three stories builds a layered situation and then turns it on its head; a wisp of a moment, a careless remark, or a premeditated change sets the course of a day or a life on a dramatically different trajectory, and it's fascinating to read as various unravelings begin and build momentum.

Keegan is one of my favorite authors, and I'm in for all of her books.

I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Grove Press.

Click here to read my rave reviews of Claire Keegan's novels Foster and Small Things Like These and her short story collection Antarctica.

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This a book made up of three short stories about the dynamics between women and men. The writing is wonderful. I especially liked Antarctica because it is haunting. I don't usually like short stories but I speed through this book.

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Three stories, every one about connection, communication or the lack of it. The stories of men and women. Ordinary stories, ordinary everyday occurences, oridnary relationships, but with a little twist each. And that is what Keegan does best, the quiet, the ordinary. She is the master of usual details that have great meaning to the characters, usual details that make life a life.
As usual, I have trouble with short story collections because I never find the stories of equal quality.
In 𝐒𝐨 𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐲 I found the male reflection and the main character's realisation that he had been treating women, and his fiancée, badly, based on a conversation when she explained his misoginy to him, quite unlikely and very implausible. It just doesn't work.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐃𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 was the best of the lot, the most nuanced, realistic, filled with rage and disappointment both in men and life.
𝐀𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚 is intriguing, the ending is almost brilliant, but it is just a bit too much. There is no motivation for the characters' actions.
My problem with all of the stories is that Keegan had an agenda, she wanted to show misoginy in all of them, but I am not convinced she succeeded. Misoginy is unfortunately an everyday fact, it should be recognized, corrected and eradicated, there is no doubt about that. But here it seems a bit comical, she wanted so hard to show it that the characters came out a bit ridiculous in the end.

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What a small interesting book! It is a tiny collection of three stories set in Ireland and all three of them have common theme of bad male characters that have different, but malevolent impact on women. The story Antarctica gave me the chill I would’t want to experience in my real life.

Thank you to Netgalley and Grove Press for an early copy for an honest review.

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Love everything this author writes. She does not disappoint with this book. Three short novellas in this book, love, betrayal, misogyny and the human condition. Gritty, honest and harrowing stories about women under a patriarchal society. Highly recommend.

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