I just finished reading this short story and am very moved by it. At the beginning of the story I felt like I was the child - the author perfectly captures the way a child watches and listens, the way adults talk to the child, the importance of little things like the feel of different clothes on the body, the strangeness of being in a different home, with different adults and different rooms and different rituals.
It's an incredible story and when it ended I felt disconcerted - that I had been given a brief experience and wanted more. I would be thrilled if the author made this story into a novel.
What a beautiful story! The setting of the farm, the sights, sounds and smells put me square in the center of it. I could feel the first apprehensions of the little girl and the growing trust of her surrogarte parents that emerged. The end is so heartwrenching ...so touching! Absolutely incredible writing. Thank you.
This short story was the most moving story I have read since CDB Bryan's "Friendly Fire," also in the New Yorker. (That was over 30 years ago.) With both both of them, I was in tears at midnight. Mr Bryan's book was judged one of the hundred most influential books of the Twentieth Century. I hope Ms Keegan's book has as much impact for children. Her use of place names, of the sound and smells of an Irish farm was evocative of a still existing way of life. Connemara
I agree with the others. It's a fabulous story, very moving, full of precise observations very convincingly conveyed from a child's point of view. Anyone reading the short stories in the New Yorker can get jaded after a while; this is one of the ones that make that exercise occasionally truly rewarding.