Reading Fools of Fortune by William Trevor, one is struck by Trevor’s mastery of language and his ability to use words that everyone uses, put them in a certain order, and produce something akin to a symphony on the page. Even when the book lacks direction and concrete plot explanation, such as this one, I cannot knock Trevor for being a born writer, like John Irving or Richard Russo, who write simple stories that are anything but simply good. Every detail in the best books by those kinds of writers stick with you long after you’ve put the book back on your shelf, and the memories they recall are still fresh. If I have to point out the thing that brought Fools of Fortune down from a great book to a good one would be its lack of simplicity. It is about this wealthy family that is torn apart by the English black and Tans, and how one of the two survivors goes on to ruin his life, or that is what I gathered from what I read. That was a big issue with me. It has the emotion, power, and grace that a story like it should have, but it becomes too political way to early, and there are so many people who have stake in the story being told, I had to look online to find out which characters were related to who and why. I feel this is a case of the book being an earlier novel for Trevor, so he was interested in different things. I read Felicia’s Journey last year, and while it also wasn’t great, I thought it was good enough to find an audience, and simple enough, with just two main leads, for anybody to become emotionally attached. Even if this is a kind of a dud, Trevor is a writer no book lover should die without reading once.