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William Trevor Of the Cloth New York New York The New Yorker March 09Of the Cloth is a contemporary work of short fiction set in the remote Irish communityof Ennismolach County during the early summer of the year nineteen hundred and ninety sevenThe greater part of the story takes place in a small stone rectory nestled among the green valleysand pasturelands that lie below the Irish mountain slopes The author describes solitary hillsidespeaks and valleys and a remnant of what once was a town He describes empty homes tumbledinto weed ridden ruins as their former residents chose to leave pursuing the promise of a moreprosperous life in the city The author depicts in detail long winding country roads leading tothe three small Protestant churches dotting the countryside Hogans Grocery Bar and PetrolPump the only store within miles and to the Catholic Church of the Holy Assumption solitaryand splendid by the roadside still seeming new although it had been there for sixty years The story was dominated by a single character The Reverend Grattan Fitzmaurice of theEnnismolach rectory He was described as an elderly man faithful dutiful and devoted to hischurch He was settled in his life-long home out of touch with the times and what washappening in them out of touch with two generations of change with his own country and what ithad become He was a charitable man providing employment out of his own meager salary fora disabled man Con Tonan who would later die He was respected by those who new himupright Mrs Bradshaw who came for visits every Tuesday Seamus Tonan Conrads son andneighboring Catholic parishioners Father MacPartlan and Curate LeahyOf the Cloth concerns mostly the pensive reflections of an Irish Protestant reverendduring a few long weeks in 1997 The reader visits the Reverend Grattan Fitzmaurice in his homeand enters in upon his personal musings and daily activities Grattan leads a quiet life his days aremade worthwhile in his labour for the
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