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Felicia's Journey [Audio Cassette]

William Trevor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 26 1995
Full of hope, seventeen-year old Felicia crosses the Irish sea to the English Midlands in search of her lover Johnny to tell him she is pregnant. Unable to find him, alone and desperate, she is found instead by Mr. Hilditch, an obese catering manger, collector and befriender of homeless girls, who is also searching — in a way Felicia could never have imagined...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

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 the 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 the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT... Feb. 3 2009
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie June 1 2004
" Felicia's Journey" is a departure for the Irish author in that the plot is driven by suspense more than character.
Felicia's character is pretty much unformed. A small town motherless Irish girl, just out of school and newly unemployed, she's trapped in a round of housekeeping and caring for her hundred-year-old great-grandmother. The old lady is famous as the widow of a hero, killed in the "Troubles" a month after their wedding.
An ordinary girl, with no particular talents or ambitions, Felicia's keenest awareness is of her lack of prospects. Not that she plans to do anything about it. But then a young man, older than herself and back on a visit from his job in England, flatters her with his ardent attentions. And leaves her pregnant, having "forgotten" to give her his address in the muddle of leavetaking.
After several months without a word (but he doesn't have her address either), Felicia takes her great-grandmother's savings and runs off to England, looking for the factory where he told her he worked.
The first night, she wakes, and thinks of returning. "If she goes back now she'll wake up again in that bedroom. There'll be another dawn breaking on the same despair, the weariness of getting up when the bell chimes six, another day beginning. The cramped stairs will again be cleaned on Tuesdays, the old woman's sheets cleaned at the weekend. If she goes back now her father's eyes will still accuse, her brothers will threaten revenge. There will be Connie Jo's regret that she married into a family anticipating a shameful birth. There will be interested glances, or hard looks, on the street....Only being together, only their love, can bring redemption: she knows that perfectly."
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5.0 out of 5 stars A master of the unadorned style . . . Jan. 23 2004
There are only two real characters in this drama, narrated in Trevor's usual spare, sparse style that puts you into the heart of things. There's Felicia, a somewhat plain teenage girl from a depressed industrial town in the Irish Republic. She's the product of a convent school, but only on suffrance because her father tends the convent's gardens. She's inexperienced and naive and when Johnny Lysaght comes along and turns her head, her subsequent pregnancy is no surprise. And there's Mr. Hilditch, a fifty-something catering manager at a factory in the English Midlands, who lives by himself and fancies young girls, though he's very careful "not to shop near home," as he thinks of it. Felicia runs away from home in search of the absent Johnny, but she finds it's not easy even to survive, much less to locate an errant Irishman, in England. She's a bit suspicious of Hilditch when he tries to help her out, but he arranges things to reduce her options, and Felicia is suddenly in very great danger indeed. Trevor does a terrific job getting inside the head of a pleasant, mild-mannered psychopath, allowing the reader to gradually understand what makes him tick. He won the Whitbread Prize (again) for this novel and he deserved it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Felicia's Journey April 30 2002
William Trevor?s Felicia?s Journey tracks the unfortunate travels and travails of its hero in the gothic, semi-industrial cityscape of a late twentieth-century English factory town. Her meeting of one Mr. Hilditch, the head caterer at one of town?s several factories, brings the poor girl?s already troubled life to a harrowing peril of both the physical and moral sorts.
Trevor?s somnambular style glides us through a fallen dreamscape studded with flashbacks in a manner that almost exempts him of the empathetic anguish inflicted upon the reader. Almost. Indeed, Trevor?s national allegory is so grief ridden, so utterly bleak that it is difficult to appreciate the merits of this work. Felicia is so painfully naïve that it becomes difficult to sympathize with her even as she is dragged through exhaustive turmoil. The audience?s hope in redemption is dashed like waves against the very shore upon which Felicia lands. So used to such incessant emotional torment is the reader that the climax fails to impress. Trevor leaves us unnecessarily jaded, allowing one final glimmer of hope only to have it washed away in the tide. As such, this reader finds it necessary to give Mr. Trevor a generous four thumbs up (out of a possible ten).
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars hypnotic
Irish immigration is a topic that has been dealt with to great lengths in contemporary fiction, but by presenting the subject within the detective genre Trevor manages to treat the... Read more
Published on April 29 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Woman, Strong Ireland
With elements of Faulkner's Light in August, young Irish Felicia sets out on a journey to find the father of the baby growing inside her. Read more
Published on April 25 2002 by Jenna Newmark
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dynamic Duo
The frightening thing about this exquisite mystery by William Trevor isn't anything found in a typical detective or police mystery; there is no theft, no murder, no crime, at least... Read more
Published on April 21 2002 by Erin Hubbard
3.0 out of 5 stars A Suspenseful Read
In Felicia's Journey, William Trevor explores an unconventional relationship betwen a young pregnant Irish girl seeking her boyfriend and an established but lonesome man with... Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by adam jaffee
3.0 out of 5 stars A Suspenseful Read
In Felicia's Journey, William Trevor explores an unconventional relationship betwen a young pregnant Irish girl seeking her boyfriend and an established but lonesome man with... Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by adam jaffee
4.0 out of 5 stars The mystery of the forgotten ones
This novel investigates the mystery of the forgotten ones of our modern society, those that wander the streets, seemingly lost. Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by Redbyrd70
1.0 out of 5 stars All Language, No Heart
While I will readily admit that Trevor has incredible command of the English language, what is even more displayed in Felicia's Journey is the lack of a sympathetic character. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2001 by GossamerWriter
4.0 out of 5 stars "the chance that separates the living from the dead"
A nowadays story about the chance that separates the living from the dead : a girl (Felicia) becomes homeless, a man (Mr Hilditch) kills himself, religion fails, through the hands... Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2001 by "rockbabe"
4.0 out of 5 stars Felicia's Journey
When I discovered what the story was going to be, I wanted to stop reading--I do not like to be in worlds I do not like. However, I could not stop reading. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2001 by Sally Beers
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