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SO LATE IN THE DAY by Claire Keegan
Sometimes you just have to laugh at the publishing industry. When Claire Keegan hit the big time with Small Things Like These, a lovely novella that I liked enough but felt didn’t quite stick the landing, the number crunchers at her various publishing houses must have gone into saliva overproduction mode. But how do you milk the unlikely success of a writer who doesn’t have a huge back catalogue and who, for the most part, works in shorter forms? You lean into it and publish what amounts to a short story with high-end, hardcover hooplah.
Fans of Small Things… will feel right at home in the quiet observational warmth of So Late In The Day. No question Keegan has a light touch that belies the complex, often broken heart that underpins much of her writing. Here, a man looks back at what should have been his perfect relationship; one that he spoiled with an ingrained pettiness that proved anathema to love. Keegan says a lot with few words, and it’s hard not to feel deeply for her characters. But is it worth the price of full admission for a standalone book? Probably not. Did I still buy it? Sigh.
So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan