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Felicia's Journey Paperback – October 10, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140290214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140290219
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,311,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Felicia's Journey is a simple tale told with a subtle complexity. Felicia is an Irish country girl who has come to England to look for her jilted lover. Hilditch is a mild-mannered, gentle psychopath who lures the helpless Felicia into his trap. Interestingly, we see the story from each character's eyes when they are separate, but from Hilditch's view when they are together. It is an unusual and effective device that distorts the perspective and adds texture to a classic story. Trevor won a Whitbread Prize in 1994 for Felicia's Journey. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Trevor's artfully suspenseful tale of a naive and pregnant young Irishwoman's encounter with a disturbed factory manager spent four weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written many novels, and has won many prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His most recent novel Love and Summer was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He is also a renowned short-story writer, and his two-volume Collected Stories was published by Viking Penguin in 2009. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement, and in 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. He now lives in Devon.

Customer Reviews

This is a dark but expertly crafted read with an unexpected but still unhappy end for the heroine.
Susan K. Schoonover
An edgy story about a vulnerable girl set with quiet menace and described in wonderful prose by a master wordsmith.
Richard Johnson
Felicia (the main character) in particular was a naive and simple character that lacked any depth at all.
J. Scharp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The most disturbing novels about murderers are the ones where the reader inhabits the killer's mind and comes to know and, in a sense, understand him. Such is the case with `Felicia's Journey', a novel that treads a very fine line between sympathy and disgust for both main characters, Felicia, a young girl looking for the father of her unborn child and Mr. Hilditch, a refined and courteous catering manager, who sets about to befriend her. Her initial innocence and snivelling about her condition, though understandable, is grating, while the friendly and gentle Mr. Hilditch, although we (and Felicia) should know better, is the more interesting and thoughtful character. What's at once troubling and fascinating about the novel is this general lack of sympathy for Felicia and the feeling that Hilditch just `can't be that bad.' I'm sure Trevor has constructed the narrative this way in order to unsettle the reader, and it works. I can't divulge one of the most intriguing aspects of the novel, other than to say, growing self-awareness is not always a good thing. I'm reminded of Hannibal Lecter, another likable bad boy. However, Lecter is great fantasy while Mr. Hilditch is the much more realistic and believable character. You know he's living just around the corner. This novel is beautifully written and unusual in every sense. I can guarantee the next novel you pick up will read like lead. Best to wait a while, and let Mr. Hilditch swirl around in your head like a fine wine gone vinegar.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Here he is again, that commander of luminous prose William Trevor. With this, his 13th novel, the master has some surprises in store as his unparalleled accounting weaves a psychological thriller.
Felicia, whose appearance is deemed "nun like" is the only daughter of an impoverished Irish gardener. She leaves the home where she cooks, cleans and tends to an elderly grandmother to find the boy she loves, Johnny. Knowing only that he works in a lawn mower factory somewhere in the English Midlands, she embarks on her fateful journey.
Unable to locate the factory, let alone Johnny, she is befriended by Mr. Hilditch, a portly catering manager with a penchant for pop tunes from the 50s, a portrait gallery of strangers decorating his walls, and a black past. Mr. Hilditch follows her, assures her dependence upon him by stealing her money, and eventually takes her into his home.
Trevor's brilliant narrative skills are showcased as he weaves the story with flashbacks, revelations of his characters' thoughts, and displays of their dreams. As always, he is articulate and compassionate, bringing his shuddery thriller to the zenith of a conclusion.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing book of psychological suspense for which its author was the recipient of the 1994 Whitbread Award. Written by a master storyteller, it tells the story of two people whose lives interconnect, only to have repercussions for both in the most unexpected ways.

Felicia is a seventeen year old motherless and naive Irish girl, who has become intimate with an Irish boy named Johnny. Of course, the expected ensues, and after Johnny has left Ireland and returned to England where he ostensibly works, Felicia is left holding the bag. Her disapproving father suspects Johnny of actually being in the British Army and, thus, a traitor to his own. He also has a few choice words for his daughter, now that she is in the family way, and none of it is flattering. So, Felicia leaves her rural village and her family and goes off in search of Johnny, having nothing more than the vaguest of ideas where he might be.

She crosses the Irish Sea and arrives in the English Midlands in the industrial city of Birmingham, as she believes Johnny to be working in a lawn mower factory there. In her search for Johnny, she runs into the portly catering manager for one of the local factories. His name is Joseph Ambrose Hilditch, and he is outwardly a jovial and agreeable man, well-liked by his co-workers and meticulous about his culinary repasts. He lives in solitary splendor in the large house in which he grew up. The house is cluttered with collectibles but well- kept, although decorated in the style of a bygone era. Mr. Hilditch is, indeed, a collector, but his collection is initially far beyond Felicia's imaginings. In fact, Mr. Hilditch has a darker side to him, which is not immediately discernible by the unwary.

When Felicia first meets Mr.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
William Trevor's precise, descriptive prose brings to mind other current authors (Pete Dexter, Tom Wolfe) who enable readers to visualize, as if viewing a film, the details of a scene--from beads of sweat trickling down a character's cheek to the colors in the oil paintings decorating a wall. Treveor uses this admirable technique to great employ in this enigmatic story of the relationship between a predator, a seemingly kindly bachelor, and his prey, a frightened pregnant Irish teen come to England to look for the father. The issue of free will as the Creator envisions it is examined here: the predator, Mr. Hilditch, in his manipulative fashion, carves out a destiny for Felicia (and, unwittingly, himdself) that suggests a control one might ascribe to a Deity. The ending is cryptic and odd; one can take the events and their aftermath in any number of ways and Trevor is of no help in steering one in the proper direction. Perhaps that's a good thing--the ending is far more haunting than the rest of the novel.(The unabridged audiobook I listened to was read by Simon Prebble, not Dermot Crowley. Prebble's interpretation, as well as his vocal characterization, is flawless.)
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