Eyes and Ears

Anthony Thwaite

  • The Silence in the Garden by William Trevor
    Bodley Head, 204 pp, £9.95, June 1988, ISBN 0 370 31218 X
  • Sea Music by David Profumo
    Secker, 207 pp, £10.95, May 1988, ISBN 0 436 38714 X
  • Tell it me again by John Fuller
    Chatto, 202 pp, £10.95, April 1988, ISBN 0 7011 3288 4
  • The Continuing Silence of a Poet: The Collected Short Stories of A.B. Yehoshua
    Peter Halban/Weidenfeld, 377 pp, £11.95, June 1988, ISBN 1 870015 14 2

The innocent child, eavesdropping on adults and adulteries, puzzled by half-heard conversations and half-understood hints, has a respectable history in fiction: What Maisie knew, The Go-Between, many other novels and stories. Such children are at the centre of William Trevor’s tenth novel and David Profumo’s first; or rather, Trevor seems to have chosen to place young Tom both centrally and peripherally (as children often are, in fiction and in life), while Profumo makes young James the very eyes and ears of his book, though distancing him by telling the tale in the third person.

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